Governor Sam Brownback has given few details about what he'll propose to balance the Kansas budget. The leader of the state Senate is raising concerns that Brownback's future political plans could be influencing his decisions.
Republican Senate President Susan Wagle says she doesn’t want a one-time fix for the budget, and she’s concerned the governor may propose just that. Speaking to reporters Monday, she referenced Brownback possibly taking a role in the administration of President-elect Donald Trump.
“I can assure you a number of legislators are very concerned that the governor is looking for a ticket to D.C., and we’re concerned that we may not get a budget that has a long-term structural fix in it,” says Wagle.
Wagle and some other lawmakers have criticized the governor for not taking immediate actions to balance the budget. Kansas is facing a budget deficit nearing $350 million in the current fiscal year.
“I can assure you the legislators I talk to are opposed to a one-time, borrow-money-to-plug-a-hole solution,” says Wagle.
Brownback's office says a balanced budget plan will be coming, but they didn't weigh in on Wagle's claim that Brownback may be angling for a job in the Trump administration.
“Governor Brownback is focused on building a balanced budget and—as he has long promised—will present it to the legislature in January. If President Wagle or others have specific long-term structural fixes they would like to propose to Kansans before the legislative session begins, the Governor would be happy to take them under consideration,” says Brownback's spokesperson, Melika Willoughby.
Governor Brownback has in the past declined to answer questions about whether he’s considering a job in the Trump administration.
KPR's Stephen Koranda has details.