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Mast: State budget in better shape than many think

The 2014 legislative session has a lot of weighty matters to come.

KVOE began a set of legislative previews Monday with Rep. Peggy Mast appearing on the Morning Show.

Mast spent several minutes saying the economy isn't as dire as a lot of naysayers believe, relying on data showing the state's ending balance, while declining, will be well ahead of projections the next two budget years.

 

Critics say tax revenue is below last year's marks even though it is trending along with or ahead of current projections -- and they blame other lawmakers for approving a so-called "glide path to zero" income taxes.

Mast also said education funding will see heavy discussion. The state has yet to learn what the Kansas Supreme Court's decision is on a lawsuit challenging a decision not to follow a court mandate to add $440 million to K-12 education several years ago. It also has to decide whether the current funding model is fair or flawed.

 

Mast is suggesting the use of block grants as a temporary solution while a new formula -- and possibly a Constitutional amendment -- are discussed.

Legislative previews continue at 8:30 am Tuesday with Sen. Jeff Longbine and at 8:30 am Wednesday with Rep. Don Hill. The session begins Jan. 13, with Gov. Sam Brownback's State of the State address Jan. 15.

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