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Deadline Day For Kansas Budget

Associated Press - March 4, 2016 8:59 am

A top Democratic lawmaker says he is joining the crowded race to replace Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. House Minority Leader Jim Ward of Wichita announced his candidacy Saturday. He had named former Democratic Party chairman Lee Kinch as his campaign treasurer earlier this week.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Republican Gov. Sam Brownback faces decisions about whether to veto provisions in a bill designed to help Kansas balance its budget through June 2017.

Brownback’s deadline is Friday. Governors have the power to veto individual budget items.

One provision prevents the state from authorizing bonds backed by state sales tax revenues for a project for luring the American Royal horse and livestock exhibition to Kansas from Kansas City, Missouri. Another prevents the privatization of the state mental hospital in Osawatomie.

The bill largely juggles funds and capturing savings to eliminate a deficit of nearly $200 million in the $16.1 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

But Brownback still would have to close a short-term hole of $31 million before June 30 because of lower-than-expected February tax collections.