TOPEKA – Top Kansas Democratic lawmakers are criticizing Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget proposals.
Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka and House Minority Leader Tom Burroughs of Kansas City said in a news conference Friday that the governor’s proposals would hurt ordinary Kansans. Hensley argued that Brownback’s proposal to repeal the current school funding formula was unconstitutional.
Brownback’s budget recommendations also call for sharp increases in cigarette and alcohol taxes and transfers. Hensley said these moves would disproportionately affect the poor.
Kansas is facing a total budget deficit of more than $710 million in the current fiscal year and the one beginning July 1. The Democratic leaders blame Brownback’s tax-cutting policies. But Democrats haven’t drafted alternative budget legislation.
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Brownback said in a statement that he’s willing to work with the Democrats.