Lead budget negotiator for House remains hopeful agreement will be reached today

TOPEKA — Rep. Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, met briefly with reporters after an 11 a.m. budget conference committee was canceled as legislators hash out three or four key sticking points.

Budget conferees now are shooting for meeting back up at 1 p.m.

“I’m hopeful,” Rhoades said of reaching an agreement today.

Issues to be resolved involve Kan-ed, a Kansas Board of Regents program focused on technology solutions for K-12 schools, higher education, libraries and hospitals; judicial services; and an effort to increase the number of engineers in Kansas.

Even if negotiators come to a meeting of the minds today, the budget still has to go to both floors of the legislature. Rhoades said he hopes legislators can go home Friday night, but it’s looking like they could be here still on Saturday.