(AP) – Kansas is moving closer to issuing $1 billion or more in bonds to bolster its pension system for teachers and government workers.
The House and Senate have approved rival plans, even though many lawmakers view issuing bonds as financially risky.
Gov. Sam Brownback advocates the borrowing as part of a larger plan to reduce annual pension costs and help balance the state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
House and Senate negotiators expect to work on a compromise next week.
Thanks to laws enacted in recent years, the state pension system is on track to close a projected $9.8 billion gap between revenues and the benefit costs from now until 2033.
But those laws require increasing state contributions, and Brownback argues that the payments will strain the budget.