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Kansas House Speaker Says Fixing A Budget Deficit His Top Priority In 2016 Session

Stephen Koranda

Kansas Lawmakers gaveled in today to officially start the 2016 legislative session. Republican House Speaker Ray Merrick says filling a budget hole is his top priority.

Last year was a record-long session focused on tax policy, and Merrick says he does not want a repeat of that.

“There’s a lot of talk out there about a short session. Yes, I’d like to have a short session, but we’re going to be here until we get the job done like the people of Kansas expect us to do,” Merrick says.

Merrick says he’s hoping to focus on spending cuts rather than more taxes to balance the budget. He says he’s also looking forward to the results of an efficiency study of state government. A series of recommendations to save tax money will be released Tuesday.

Stephen Koranda is the managing editor of the Kansas News Service, based at KCUR. He has nearly 20 years of experience in public media as a reporter and editor.