Senate ways and means committee passes budget proposal

The Senate’s ways and means committee has passed a budget proposal that leaves the state’s ending balance at more than $55 million, according to a news release from Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick.

Budget negotiators from the Senate and House are scheduled to meet again at 4 p.m. today.

"We put pen to paper again this weekend, and hammered out another solution," said McGinn, lead budget negotiator for the Senate. "What this budget really does is take the best components of the Senate plan and blend them with the best components of the House plan."

The committee's proposal would, the news release said:

* Secure an ending balance of more than $55 million;

* Minimize cuts to K-12 schools, allowing for $3,786 in base state aid per student;

* Allow early childhood programs to continue serving our state's youngest children, including Early Head Start, Pre-K and Parents as Teachers;

* Keep critical services for the elderly intact;

* Stabilize funding for state colleges and universities;

* Fund waivers for the developmentally disabled;

* Provide for the Kansas Neurological Institute (KNI), arts commission, Kansas Affordable Airfares Program and Washburn University.

"I think this is a plan we all go can go home with, knowing we made significant spending cuts without jeopardizing our state's long-term economic recovery," said McGinn.