Kansas governor’s budget includes proposals GOP has rejected

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly outlined a proposed annual budget Wednesday that includes a tax increase and two other major initiatives likely to be rejected by the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature.

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January 14, 2021 - 9:48 AM

Gov. Laura Kelly. Courtesy photo

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly outlined a proposed annual budget Wednesday that includes a tax increase and two other major initiatives likely to be rejected by the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature.

Kelly’s $20.9 billion spending plan for the budget year that begins July 1 would protect a previously promised increase in funding for public schools, pay for upgrades in state computer systems and provide a 2.5% pay increase for state workers. It also would make reductions in some agencies’ spending so that the state would end June 2022 with a projected financial cushion of more than $680 million.

But the governor proposed reducing the state’s annual contribution to its pension system for teachers and government workers to free up funds for programs — an idea that Republican majorities rejected in 2019 and 2020. She is renewing her push to expand the state’s Medical health coverage for the needy, which GOP leaders oppose.

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