Public school finance bills that have emerged from House and Senate budget committees include major higher education funding pieces.
In the measure that emerged from the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Republicans approved taking $24 million in funds that Kansas University has eyed for years to help build a new $75 million health education building. The funds are from a settlement in a FICA dispute. The Ways and Means bill would use that money to help pay for its school finance plan.
Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee approved a bill that would give KU authority to issue $25 million in bonds toward the building.
Both committees' bills will go to their respective chambers for consideration.
The Ways and Means Committee also proposed transferring $15 million from the Kansas Department of Commerce that would go in $5 million increments to the KU Cancer Center, and research at Kansas State University and Wichita State University.
In 2011, Gov. Sam Brownback insisted these research funds be placed in the Commerce Department before going to the universities. Under the action taken by the Ways and Means Committee, the funds would be sent directly to the universities.