Kansas lawmakers pass bill to block state worker furloughs

(KSNT File photo)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators have approved a bill aimed at preventing a partial state government shutdown by blocking planned furloughs for thousands of workers.

The Senate approved the bill on a 39-0 vote Saturday only hours after the House passed it, 106-0. It goes next to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

Republicans in the GOP-dominated Legislature are deeply divided over raising taxes to close a projected budget shortfall for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

State agencies and state universities sent furlough notices Friday to at least 24,200 workers deemed nonessential. Without a budget for the next fiscal year, the state had no authority to pay employees for work starting Sunday.

But the bill declares all state workers essential for the next few weeks, allowing them to at least stay on the job.


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