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Archive for Friday, April 1, 2005

Compromise budget wins House approval

$11.3 billion plan expected to be OK’d by Senate today

April 1, 2005

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— A compromise $11.3 billion state budget was one vote away Thursday from going to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

The House approved the spending plan, 81-42, and the measure will go to Sebelius if the Senate approves it as expected today. Legislative negotiators drafted the proposal, settling dozens of differences between the two chambers.

The measure increases overall spending $433 million, or 4 percent, during the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The bill includes an increase of $125 million in aid to public schools. Also, many of the new dollars in the budget would cover rising costs associated with medical services for the poor and disabled.

The measure also reflects a compromise over Sebelius' proposal to give state workers a 2.5 percent pay raise, starting in June. The Senate endorsed her proposal, but the House wanted to delay the raise for nine months, until March 2006.

Negotiators agreed on a 1.25 percent raise in June, with an additional 1.25 percent boost in December.

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