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Archive for Tuesday, April 20, 2004

School funding receives another disappointment

April 20, 2004

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— Kansas officials who had been hoping for a rebounding state economy to help fund an increase for schools were disappointed today.

Budget officials made minor changes upward of the state tax revenue forecast, but that will be mostly offset by slight decreases in other areas of revenue.

"Schools ought to be happy if we can replicate last year's budget," Rep. Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said.

The overall estimate for the current and next fiscal years was increased by a combined $39.8 million out of a total of $9 billion in revenue.

"There is some good news, however slight," said Alan Conroy, director of the Kansas Legislative Research Department.

Budget experts said the increase showed that the economy was slowly, but steadily improving.

For the past five years, lawmakers have watched revenue fall below projections, forcing them to cut the budget.

Lawmakers return Wednesday, April 28 for the wrap-up session to put together a final budget bill for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Many have also called for an increase in school funding, but today's revenue figures show that any increase will require a tax increase.

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