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Kansas Budget Limits Governor’s Options to Reverse University Cuts

Lawmakers and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback disagreed on higher education funding this legislative session.

Legislators passed a budget with more than $60 million in cuts over two years for the state's universities. In Kansas, the governor has the power of line item veto, which can sometimes be used to block cuts, but it looks like Brownback can't block the higher ed cuts.

Brownback told reporters on Friday that his office had received the budget, and they were going through it line by line. He may be focusing on the lines where universities faced across-the-board cuts and cuts to funding for salaries.

“Which I'm not pleased with. I thought it should have been stable funding.S0 we’re going to be looking at what all (the) options are.”

Sometimes, the governor can veto increases or decreases in funding for a department or program.

It depends how the budget is written. For example, if the budget had a line item that transferred money out of higher education, Brownback could veto the transfer and keep the funding in higher ed. But legislative staffers say that’s not the way this budget is written.

Lawmakers just appropriated less money for universities this year, giving the governor fewer options to try to reverse the cut.

As the Kansas News Service managing editor, I help our statewide team of reporters find the important issues and breaking news that impact people statewide. We refine our daily stories to illustrate the issues and events that affect the health, well-being and economic stability of the people of Kansas. Email me at skoranda@kcur.org.
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