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Archive for Thursday, March 20, 2008

House moves budget along, delaying KU pharmacy decision

March 20, 2008

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— The House on Wednesday advanced a proposed $13.4 billion state budget that delays major funding decisions for later in the legislative session.

Democrats didn't like that, saying there were critical funding decisions that should have been made now.

But state Rep. Sharon Schwartz, R-Washington, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, said budget writers will have better revenue information in late April.

House Republican leaders had earlier removed proposed budget increases by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, that depended on $81 million in new casino revenue.

Many of those increases, including those for higher education, will be reviewed later.

"There are not resources to fund every enhancement," Schwartz said.

The budget recommendation put off until later in the session consideration of two proposals dealing with Kansas University's School of Pharmacy.

Sebelius proposed $1 million for the school to plan for expansion and $50 million in bonding authority to build that expansion.

The House Appropriations Committee delayed those proposals.

State Rep. Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, sought to put both provisions back in the budget. The House approved the $1 million in planning funds but delayed authorization of the $50 million in bonds.

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