Kansas Senate approves $115 million payment to state pension system

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -

The Kansas Senate has approved a bill that would make a $115 million payment to the state pension system for teachers and government workers.

The vote Tuesday was 40-0 even though Democrats in the GOP-dominated Senate argued that lawmakers should review the entire budget first. The bill goes next to the House.

The money represents part of the state's annual contribution to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System that lawmakers skipped in 2016, plus interest. Legislators shorted the pension system that year to help close a budget shortfall.

Under the bill, the payment would be made before July.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly did not include the payment in her budget proposals, but she told reporters Monday that the state has the money "to take care of that."