Politics & Government

Legislative negotiators begin talks on Kansas budget

TOPEKA – Negotiators for the Kansas House and Senate are working on the final version of a $14.1 billion state budget.

Three senators and three House members opened talks Monday aimed at resolving dozens of differences over a spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1. They’re expected to negotiate most of the week.

The budget probably will cut overall state spending by at least $570 million, or about 4 percent. Lawmakers hope to leave the state with cash reserves of at least $400 million at the end of June 2013, though the amount will depend upon how much they cut taxes.

The House’s version of the budget is less generous than the Senate’s version. But both stick closely to Gov. Sam Brownback’s recommendations in many areas.