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Kansas House To Debate Budget Bill

Stephen Koranda file photo

The Kansas House is set to debate a budget agreement later today, but the plan the House will consider needs around $400 million in tax increases to balance.

House members had been waiting for a tax agreement, but over the last week several tax plans have faltered. The top budget writer in the Kansas House, Ron Ryckman, says passing a spending plan will help them avoid state employee furloughs.

“Ideally, we would like the have the tax policy solved before we ran the budget, but it’s been problematic to come up with a revenue source. On the other side of the equation is obviously the expenditures, that ultimately is what pays our employees,” Ryckman says.

If there’s not a budget in place by Sunday, non-essential state employees will be sent home without pay.

The budget includes cuts to funding for many state agencies but does not cut the K-12 education block grants passed by lawmakers this year.