TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A tentative deal has been struck on lingering issues in the Kansas budget, moving legislators closer to concluding the 2014 session despite a spate of bad economic news.
House and Senate negotiators finished work on the budget Thursday, including giving a pay raise for nearly 38,000 state employees and new officers at the Topeka Correctional Facility. The timing of a vote on the budget was uncertain.
On Wednesday, the state Department of Revenue reported that tax collections for the month totaled $92 million less than expected. Officials cited changes in the federal tax code on capital gains and other income.
Also on Wednesday, Moody's Investor Services downgraded the state's bond rating on concerns about long-term pension obligations and further reduction of state ending balances necessary to cover expenses.
Kansas legislators negotiating on budget issues are whittling away at their differences after majority Republicans cast aside a bleak revenue report.
Three senators and three House members were resuming talks Thursday on spending for the fiscal year beginning July 1. They hadn't resolved funding for the state prison system or whether state workers will get a pay raise.
Their work Wednesday was overshadowed by a report from the state Department of Revenue that tax collections for the month totaled $92 million less than expected. Officials cited changes in the federal tax code on capital gains and other income.
But Republicans brushed aside doubts raised by the new figures. They argued that the state's cash reserves will act as a cushion and any fallout can be dealt with next year.