Legislators resume budget work

TOPEKA — Kansas legislators have resumed discussions about closing state budget shortfalls.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee started working this morning on a budget for the state's 2011 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

State officials and economists are now projecting a $70 million deficit in the 2010 budget, which covers spending through June 30. The figure is worse for fiscal 2011, with the gap between anticipated revenues and current spending commitments pegged at $450 million.

Senate leaders have said they support raising taxes to close the gap, but they haven't been able to assemble a package of increases that will pass the 40-member chamber.

The House Appropriations Committee is set to begin meeting Thursday to draft its own spending plan. The full Legislature reconvenes April 28.