Budget Deficit will be Priority One

By: AP
By: AP

TOPEKA - The two legislators who want to be House speaker next year agree on at least one thing.. dealing with the projected state budget deficit will be the top priority.

Current House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, seeking a second term, and his
challenger, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Mike O'Neal, said
Thursday the focus on the session starting Jan. 14 will be cutting
the budget to bring the projected deficit to zero as state law
requires.

Governor Kathleen Sebelius has directed state agencies to trim 3
percent from the budget but Neufeld and O'Neal questioned whether
that's enough.

A financial forecast Tuesday projected a budget deficit of $137
million in June 2009. It also said if the problem isn't addressed
the shortfall could be nearly $1 billion by June 2010.


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