State Legislators Struggle To Find Solutions To Budget Woes

Kansas legislators disagree about their next step after the Senate rejected a plan for fixing the state budget with a big income tax increase.

The Senate voted 22-18 on Wednesday against a bill that would have rolled back past income tax cuts championed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. It would have raised more than $1 billion over two years.

Senate Vice President and Emporia Republican Jeff Longbine said lawmakers must consider smaller proposals and work toward a plan that Brownback would sign rather than toward a bigger tax hike with veto-proof support. While some other legislators want a plan passed whether it is signed by the governor or via veto-proof support.

Several Democrats rejected the idea and said a plan must provide additional funds for public schools.

Kansas faces projected budget shortfalls totaling $887 million through June 2019 and the state Supreme Court has said education funding is inadequate.