The chairman of the House Tax Committee believes lawmakers will need to rely mostly on taxes to fill a hole in the Kansas budget. The state faces a $400 million shortfall next fiscal year. Republican Representative Marvin Kleeb says they’re hoping to avoid cuts to K-12 education, which accounts for half the state budget.
“I don’t think there’s a tremendous amount of expenditure improvement that can happen. We held schools harmless and I think a lot of us feel that we made a promise to schools to keep that block grant funding stable so they would be held harmless the next two years,” says Kleeb.
There will likely be disagreement on the issue of raising taxes. Some GOP lawmakers want to consider further spending cuts first. House and Senate committees will start debating tax proposals next week.