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Kansas Legislature At Odds With Brownback On Higher Ed Funding

Kansas legislative committees are taking separate paths to solve differences over the state's 2014 budget.

The House Appropriations Committee met Monday to review spending adjustments required by bills that have been signed into law. They're also getting an update on state revenue estimates.

The Senate, whose budget committee met last Thursday, plans to have a separate catch-all spending bill on its calendar when it returns.

One of the biggest obstacles in the budget talks is how to treat higher education. The House proposes a 4 percent cut in spending while the Senate is seeking a 2 percent reduction.

Both are at odds with Gov. Sam Brownback, who has been touring the state urging lawmakers to spare higher education from cuts.

He's asking them to endorse his proposal to keep the state's sales tax rate at 6.3 percent instead of letting fall to 5.7 percent as scheduled in July, giving Kansas about $258 million more in revenue.