Kansas Senate panel discusses proposed budget

TOPEKA | A Kansas Senate committee is debating a proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and hopes to vote on the proposed budget on Thursday.

So far, the Ways and Means Committee has endorsed a plan from Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to use federal stimulus dollars to prevent a cut in state aid to public schools. It also has adopted other proposals from her to use stimulus dollars to keep the budget balanced.

The Democratic governor recommends using $585 million in stimulus dollars to help prevent a deficit in fiscal 2010 budget.

Legislative researchers project that if the state attempted to duplicate its current budget, it would end fiscal 2010 with a $682 million deficit.

Republicans who control the House Appropriations Committee have broken with the governor on school aid, proposing to cut it nearly $26 million.