In the face of a $400 hole,Johnson County State senator Jim Denning says the latest budget plan from Governor Sam brownback has ‘nothing out of the ordinary in there ‘.
Brownback suggested about $72 million in budget cuts over two years in a budget amendment sent to House Appropriations Committee Chairman, Olathe Republican Ron Ryckman and Senate Ways and Means Chairman Ty Masterson.
The Governor’s plan contained no tax increase proposals.
The biggest shift is call to raise hospital access fees by $19 million in both budget year 2016 and budget year 2017.
Dennis is a veteran of the house budget panels and now sit on Ryckman’s Ways and means committee in the Kansas Senate.
“Just really rates and cats. M minor adjustments to the budge,” he said.
Denning says he’s aware many Kansas Republican legislators built their political careers on pledges never to raise taxes. He says that is a poor way for some members of his party to govern.
“This situation happened on our watch. So we have to take care of it.And we have take care of it in short order” Denning stated..
Dennis is calling for a broad package of tax hikes and tax adjustments to fill the approaching budget hole.
He says the tax breaks approved for many small business contain what he said is a loop hole that needs to be closed. He thinks that would generate $140 million
Denning also says lawmakers ought to consider raising the state’s fuel tax from 19 to 24 cents.
He also favors raising the Kansas sales tax from 6.15% to 6.3%.
He thinks his entire package would close the $400 million budget hole and leave the state with a surplus of more than 100 million more dollars.
Lawmakers return to Topeka next Wednesday. Finding a solution to the budget that is scheduled to take effect on July will dominate the session’s final days.