Kansas Lawmakers Have a Full Plate

(AP) – Kansas lawmakers must close shortfalls in the current and next state budgets totaling $290 million after returning from their annual spring break.

The Legislature was reconvening Wednesday morning. It was only a week after state officials and university economists issued new, more pessimistic forecast that slashed revenue projections through June 2017.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback plans to divert highway funds to general government programs and delay major road projects. He also expects to cut higher education spending.

He’s proposed selling off part of the state’s annual payments from a national legal settlement with tobacco companies to generate a one-time infusion of cash.

Lawmakers have been cold to the idea. As alternatives, he’s suggested delaying contributions to public employee pensions or making $139 million in spending cuts.

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