Work Begins on Final Spending Bill

By: AP
By: AP

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A Senate committee has begun work on its version of the year's final spending bill.

The Ways and Means Committee mostly held to the course legislators already have set in drafting the next state budget. That would provide a modest increase in spending for the fiscal year beginning July 1, without addressing problems looming for next year.

Projections from legislative researchers suggest lawmakers could face a budget shortfall when they reconvene in 2009.

But chairman Dwayne Umbarger, a Thayer Republican, says his panel could review the bill several times before endorsing it.

The bill will complete a budget of almost $13.7 billion. Spending is likely to increase about $500 million, a little less than 4 percent.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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