Kansas House Approves Two-Year Spending Plan Without Debate
The Kansas House has approved a budget plan for the next two fiscal years--with no debate. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the chamber quickly approved the $6 billion spending plan.
This budget would not be balanced without around $400 million in tax increases, but House members decided to pass it while tax talks are ongoing.
The top budget writer in the chamber, Republican Ron Ryckman, says the lack of debate was a surprise to him.
“The budget has been basically in place for over a month. And so people have had a lot of chance to talk about it," Ryckman says. "We’ve had a lot of discussions, we’ve had a lot of one-on-one meetings, a lot of group meetings to discuss it. So everybody knew what was in it."
After the debate, Democrats said they tried to speak on the bill and weren’t recognized. The lawmaker presiding over the chamber said she did not see anyone requesting to speak.
The budget is now headed to the Kansas Senate for consideration. Lawmakers are working against a deadline to prevent state employee furloughs. If they haven’t given final approval to a state budget by Sunday then thousands of state workers will be off the job without pay.