Kansas budget talks narrow to big issues

TOPEKA — Kansas legislators who are drafting the final version of a $14.1 billion state budget are narrowing their discussions to their biggest differences.

House and Senate negotiators met for about two hours Saturday to work on the spending plan for state government for the fiscal year that begins July 1. There were dozens of differences between the two chambers on items in the budget.

The negotiators stuck to minor issues during Saturday’s talks, such as the amount the Department on Aging should reimburse providers of services to the elderly for their payroll expenses.

The negotiators plan to resume their talks Monday, when major issues must be resolved, including education funding, pay raises for state workers and aid to local governments to help keep their property taxes in check.