Leaders in the Kansas Senate say they'll likely pursue cuts to the budget recommended by Governor Sam Brownback.
Senate President Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican, says their goal is a long-term elimination of the state's income tax. A Senate committee recently endorsed a plan that would cut income tax rates. To help balance the budget, it would also eliminate the state's tax deduction for mortgage interest and keep the sales tax elevated.
Wagle says to make the budget work, more cutting will be needed.
“We’ve got our Ways and Means chair turning over every rock, and we haven’t got a final number to that,” says Wagle. “But I guarantee you that I believe we will also cut a budget that is under the governor’s.”
A Senate committee has already proposed cutting $10 million that had been slated to start construction of a new medical training facility at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
It's not clear that leaders in the House will be on board with the plan to keep the sales tax elevated. House Speaker Ray Merrick said Friday that house members may want to pursue a different option.