LJWorld.com weblogs Statehouse Live
Senate Republican leaders say $10 million for KU medical building may be cut
Senate leaders Thursday said Gov. Sam Brownback's budget proposal will be cut and that may eliminate $10 million to help Kansas University build a new health education building.
"As you look at cuts, the easiest things to cut are projects that haven't started yet," said Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita.
Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, R-Hutchinson, described the KU proposal as "low-hanging fruit," in efforts to cut the budget.
Their comments came after the Senate wrapped up business before the unofficial halfway point of the 2013 legislative session.
Wagle said Brownback's budget will have to be cut in order to bridge a revenue shortfall. Meanwhile, she said, she believes a majority of the Senate will vote to keep in place the 6.3 percent state sales tax rate, which was scheduled to fall back to 5.7 percent on July 1.
Keeping the sales tax at 6.3 percent is necessary to buy down income tax rates, Wagle, Bruce and Senate Vice President Jeff King, R-Independence said.
KU has made construction of a $75 million medical building at the KU Medical Center a major goal to increase the number of trained doctors.
Brownback proposed $10 million over two years to help jump-start the proposal. A Senate budget committee has removed the funding but the House budget committee has kept it in.