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Kansas Lawmakers Working On Final Budget Deal

Stephen Koranda
Kansas Public Radio
House budget negotiators Republican Troy Waymaster (right) and Democrat Kathy Wolfe Moore.

Negotiators from the Kansas House and Senate are meeting Friday to hammer out a budget compromise. There are significant differences in the House and Senate plans when it comes to state employee raises.

The Senate budget gives most state workers a 2 percent raise. The House plan includes fewer raises that are targeted, including pay hikes for the judicial branch.

Republican Rep. Troy Waymaster says some House members are concerned about the cost of the Senate proposal.

“We can start with something smaller and be a little methodical about it and then next year look at it and say ‘where are we at, fiscally, what can we do’ and move on from there,” Waymaster says.

Waymaster wants to wait and see how tax collections look over the next year before committing to broader pay raises.

Giving most state employees a raise would cost more than $20 million per year. Targeted pay increases would cost about $7 million.

The final version of the budget is the last piece of work lawmakers need to finish before ending the session. They’re hoping to wrap up their work Saturday.