The Latest: Kansas Senate Debating Budget-Balancing Plan


11:35 a.m.


Kansas legislators expect to consider two additional bills that Republican leaders consider necessary companions to a separate budget-balancing plan.


Lawmakers hoped to wrap up work Sunday by passing the budget-balancing plan.


One companion bill on the Legislature’s to-do list would allow the state to sell off the Kansas Bioscience Authority’s assets to raise $25 million. The agency was set up in 2004 to nurture emerging biotechnology companies but has had a mixed record.


The other bill is aimed at cutting prescription drug costs for poor and disabled Kansans receiving health coverage under Medicaid by nearly $11 million a year.


It would allow Medicaid to use of “step therapy” with prescriptions. Participants would be required to try less expensive drugs and have the treatment fail before obtaining more expensive drugs.


1:35 a.m.


Top Republicans in the Kansas Legislature hope to finish work on a plan for balancing a state budget that would require GOP Gov. Sam Brownback to do most of the work.


The House was taking the measure up first Sunday. If its members approved the bill, the Senate would decide whether to send it to Brownback.


Rejection in either chamber would require the legislative negotiators who drafted the plan to write a new one.


The plan would only partially close shortfalls totaling more than $290 million in the current budget and the one for the next fiscal year beginning July 1.


The plan assumes Brownback follows through with announced plans to cut higher education spending and delay major highway projects so road funds can be diverted to general government programs.


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The Washington Times         Published: May 2, 2016

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