Kansas Senate Panel Begins Work on Deficit Plan

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A Senate committee is working on a plan to eliminate a projected $186 million deficit in the state's current budget.

The Ways and Means Committee is starting with Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' plan, which makes selected spending cuts and other changes before June 30.

Many Republicans don't like that plan, arguing the burden falls too heavily on higher education and other programs and not enough on aid to public schools. The GOP has a 10-3 majority on the panel.

Under Sebelius' plan, overall aid to public schools would not decrease during the current fiscal year. But her plan would force the state to reallocate $22 per pupil in general aid to each district.

GOP leaders hope the entire Senate will debate a bill next week.

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