The University of Kansas is wrestling with how to cut $13.5 million from its budget over the next two years, but the funding reduction will not prompt the closing of the KU School of Medicine's campus in Salina
The KU Medical Center, which operates the school, will have to absorb more than $8 million in cuts. KU spokesman Jack Martin says closing the Salina campus, and scaling back operations in Wichita are no longer on the table.
The chair of the Kansas House Tax Committee is responding to claims from Democrats about the tax plan passed by the Legislature last weekend. The Republican-dominated Legislature passed a bill that will cut income tax rates, but will also keep the sales tax elevated and reduce income tax deductions.
The Chair of the state Democratic Party, former revenue secretary Joan Wagnon, says legislators broke their promise to let a temporary sales tax expire, and put a bigger burden on working Kansans, amounting to a more than $750 million tax increase.
Kansas Lawmakers wrapped up the 2013 session in the early hours of Sunday morning, narrowly passing a budget that reduces spending through major cuts, particularly to higher education.
The biggest responsibility lawmakers have every year is to pass a state budget. It was questionable whether this proposal could pass the House. The chamber’s leadership was putting pressure on Republicans to pass the budget, saying if they didn’t pass one over the weekend the state could miss payments, like a payment for state worker health insurance.
Kansas lawmakers return to Topeka Tuesday to dive back into the contentious debate over budget and tax bills.
State Representatives and Senators were quoted using words like “dumbfounded” to express frustration that they can’t agree on either a budget or tax bill. Lawmakers had planned to wrap up the legislative in 80-days instead of the mandated 90-days. Instead, the session has run long like it has in most recent years.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback visited the University of Kansas campus yesterday, where he met with school officials and student leaders as part of a tour promoting higher education in the state.
Brownback called KU a "great innovation institution" and highlighted its role in the Kansas economy.
“We’ve really got some momentum moving forward in job creation off of our universities, providing excellence in education, which is a primary issue for us, and we want to keep that momentum growing,” said Brownback.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has proposed more income tax cuts in Kansas over the coming years. And to help pay for that, he wants to make permanent part of a temporary sales tax increase that is set to expire later this year. He's also suggested eliminating some tax deductions, like the home mortgage deduction.
There is now a conservative majority in both the House and Senate, and some lawmakers may try to find additional cuts to state spending instead of using the sales tax and tax deductions to help pay for an income tax cut.