"We should have caught the incorrect information, but we did not."
Thats part of an apology issued by Gov. Sam Brownbacks budget director, Steve Anderson, after The Eagle found Brownbacks administration used faulty data in presentations across the state to claim credit for nearly $2 billion in spending cuts that never happened. Brownback and other top Republicans say they still have full confidence in the budget division.
Thats how many senators voted in favor of putting a proposed constitutional amendment about school funding on the ballot. A district court ruled state funding is unconstitutionally low, but conservative lawmakers say the Legislature should be the only branch of government to decide how much money to spend on education. The measure will need 83 votes in the House, where Republicans have a 92-33 advantage.
The appetite for cutting state spending to accommodate income tax cuts appears to be growing. A Senate panel last week approved Brownbacks tax-cutting plan despite an outcry from real estate agents who say the governors plan to eliminate the home mortgage interest deduction hurts homeowners and the economy. Budget projections show the tax cuts are still likely to cause budget problems, but Republican leaders say they think they can cut tens of millions of dollars in spending to accommodate the cuts, which they say will bolster the states economy.
The Senate is slated to debate the governors tax-cutting proposal sometime this week. Lawmakers expect attempts to save the mortgage interest deduction and to let a six-tenths of a cent sales tax expire as originally planned this summer. Democrats expect an attempt to phase out the mortgage interest deduction as income taxes are phased out. Meanwhile, a flurry of education reform bills will be debated in House and Senate panels. And debates over where licensed Kansans can carry concealed guns and drug testing of some people seeking welfare or unemployment benefits could steal some of the spotlight.
For more legislative news, go to www.kansas.com/politics and follow @BrentWistrom on Twitter.