Kansas Lawmakers Moving Quickly to Balance State Budget

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Republican leaders expect two Kansas legislative committees to approve plans next week for closing a projected $190 million deficit in the state’s next budget.

The House Appropriations and Senate Ways and Means committees will be starting from GOP Governor Sam Brownback’s proposals for juggling funds and capturing unanticipated savings.

Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce said the goal is for the Republican-dominated Legislature to finish work on a budget-balancing plan by the end of February.

GOP leaders said closing the budget shortfall quickly will allow lawmakers to focus on fixing long-term inefficiencies in state government.

Legislators in both parties worry that budget work will be complicated by month-to-month revenue shortfalls. For 2014 and 2015, tax collections fell short of expectations most months; officials learn Monday how the state fared in January.