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Returning Kansas lawmakers face closing budget shortfalls

Associated Press - April 24, 2016 12:52 pm

The Kansas Supreme Court has rejected an inmate's bid to withdraw his no-contest pleas in a 2003 attack that killed two women and wounded a third.

Kansas legislators must close projected budget gaps totaling more than $290 million when they resume their annual session this week.

And top Republicans aren’t sure lawmakers will be tackling much else.

The Legislature is scheduled to return Wednesday from its annual spring break. The leaders of its GOP supermajorities hope to remain in session for less than a week.

A new, more pessimistic fiscal forecast issued last week slashed projected tax collections by a total of $348 million through June 2017.

The new numbers created the projected shortfalls in the current and next budgets. The state constitution doesn’t permit budget deficits.

Kansas has struggled to balance its budget since Republican lawmakers slashed personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013 at GOP Gov. Sam Brownback’s urging to stimulate the economy.