Kansas Lawmakers aim to fix looming budget issues

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – It’s still up in the air what exactly lawmakers at the Kansas Statehouse plan to do to fix the budget issues in the state. Some ideas being tossed around by Senate Republicans are the possibility of budget cuts.

The state of Kansas is facing a 300 million dollar budget shortfall. That has caught the attention of both Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

“Balancing the budget is the primary focus, that is what occurred at the doors that is the number one concern,” Senate President Susan Wagle said.

“The budget is the most looming dark cloud over the legislative process moving forward,” Former Senate Minority Leader Tom Burrough said. “The first of all we need to meet our budget requirements.”

Senate President Susan Wagle thinks the first thing once lawmakers return should be making cuts to balance the budget for this fiscal year.

“We have a shortfall in this current fiscal year and certainly any tax changes would take over a year to bring the finances in. We have to make some tough calls and cuts in January,” Wagle said.

Wagle says this should’ve been done already.

“It’s uncommon that when we are experiencing a shortfall that the governor doesn’t use his executive privilege to cut,” Wagle said.

While Republicans have a game plan…

“Well with 125 members I don’t pretend to know what everybody feels that needs to be done,” Burroughs said.

While one Democrat did not share exactly what he thinks will be done — another thinks the budget shortfall is from getting rid of income tax.

“We tried to do away with income tax which really put pressure on our sales tax and our property tax so I think we have to look at all three,” Sen. Lynn Rogers said. “Anything that we do we have to understand how it is going to impact those different categories.”

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