Kansas House Advances $14B State Budget

By: AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ The Kansas House has given first-round approval to a proposed $14 billion state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Tuesday's roll call vote of 71-51 advances the bill to final House action set for Wednesday.

The legislation would spend about $6 billion in state general fund revenues. The budget covers spending for public schools and higher education, social services and public safety, including the Highway Patrol, prisons and emergency management.

The House Appropriations Committee budget made about $25 million in cuts from the budget proposed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. That includes cuts to higher education funding.

“When we were putting together the budget, we learned from the Regents that they preferred an across the board cut rather than using their reduced resource package, so we designed the budget accordingly," said Rep. Marc Rhoades, chairman of the House Appropriations committee. "In addition, we understand that the Regents and legislators have expressed concerns about the salary freeze and we will continue to work toward a compromise with the Regents to provide flexibility.”

The House bill would leave the state with ending balances of more than $565 million in reserve on June 30, 2014, and about $485 million in reserve on June 30, 2015.

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