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Archive for Friday, April 30, 2004

Governor critical of Senate about school funding, gambling

April 30, 2004

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— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius today criticized the Kansas Senate for failing to adopt a school finance plan and rejecting a bill to expand gambling.

"They've been listening to some different people than I have been listening to," Sebelius said at a news conference.

Lawmakers are in the third day of a wrap-up session.

On Thursday, the Senate rejected a bill that could have led to the establishment of casinos and placed thousands of video games at racetracks and other venues.

Sebelius said Kansans want to vote in local option elections to expand gambling, and schools are in desperate need of increased funding.

"Absent new resources, schools will be looking at very serious cuts," Sebelius said.

Sebelius said lawmakers need to agree on an increase for schools in the $100 million range.

Ending the session, without an increase, she said "is not a very good option. They're here right now, their salary is being paid, and I just want them to do their jobs."

The Senate is expected to debate a school finance plan later today. The chamber has already rejected six different proposals.

The House has approved a $155 million increase that would raise state sales and income taxes.

On other topics, Sebelius said she saw no need to make any changes to the law that requires lobbyists to report their expenses on legislators. The House has voted to weaken the reporting requirements.

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