Analysis: Kan. Budget Debate Really About Schools

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Republican legislators and Democratic Gov. Mark Parkinson's administration disagree about the potential size of a looming budget shortfall.

But the disagreement really is about aid to public schools.

Legislators who lost a debate in 2005 and 2006 over increasing education funding now have a chance to roll back the spending they resented then.

Legislators who prevailed then are trying to protect as much of their victory as possible.

The latest disagreement emerged last week, after leaders of the House's GOP majority announced special meetings of its Appropriations Committee.

The meetings are a reaction to projections from legislators' staff that the state could face a $530 million budget shortfall in its 2011 fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2010.

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