Governor Sam Brownback says he’ll sign a bill to balance Kansas’ next budget by raising sales and cigarette taxes. That builds pressure on the Kansas House, which is considering the legislation after the Senate approved it Sunday. The tax bill would raise $423 million during the next fiscal year. That’s more than enough to wipe out a projected shortfall.
The Kansas budget director says the state would likely lay off prison guards, cut aid to public schools and reduce payments to health care providers if lawmakers don’t raise taxes. Shawn Sullivan says the most likely scenario would be an across-the-board cut of 6.2 percent in the money laid out under the budget for next fiscal year. That budget isn’t balanced though, and lawmakers are split on raising taxes to cover the deficit.