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Kansas Gov. Brownback signs $15.6 billion state budget

Associated Press - June 25, 2017 9:24 pm

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.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a state budget for the next two years that will use a $1.2 billion income tax increase to fund government and schools, but he complained about “excessive spending.”

Brownback signed the $15.6 billion budget bill on Sunday. It will provide raises of up to 5 percent to state workers who haven’t had any in recent years.

He vetoed two items that imposed some limits on programs for people with disabilities and mental health programs. Lawmakers will have a chance to override those vetoes Monday.

Brownback already had signed a separate plan to increase school spending to meet a state Supreme Court mandate.

He vetoed a bill that rolled back tax cuts, but lawmakers overrode that veto.