Topeka In an effort to try to wipe out most of Kansas' $310 million budget shortfall, Gov. Bill Graves announced Tuesday he has made $78 million in immediate cuts and identified other savings. None of the cuts affected education.
Educators across the state had feared the governor would be forced to cut into education, which claims about half of the state's annual budget.
The $78 million in cuts go beyond the $41 million in cuts the governor made in August to keep the state's $4.4 billion budget from going into the red on June 30, the end of fiscal 2003.
Senate President Dave Kerr said Graves had taken the first step, leaving the rest for Gov.-elect Kathleen Sebelius and the Legislature to solve.
TuesdayÃ¢ÂÂs cuts were expected to be the last time the outgoing governor deals with the budget. His term ends Jan. 13 when Sebelius takes office.
Sebelius will submit a revised fiscal 2003 budget to lawmakers in January, as well as her proposal for fiscal 2004, which will reflect cuts made by Graves and current revenue estimates. Even with GravesÃ¢ÂÂ cuts, SebeliusÃ¢ÂÂ budget is likely to include cuts in programs of as much as $500 million.
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