Cuts, cuts, cuts.
It is in the headlines of most of the stories coming out of Topeka this session.
There are many controversial cuts the two Houses must take up before adjournment this spring, but before they can move on to the 2012 budget, they first must deal with a recession bill in conference committee.
The governor has challenged the Legislature to cut $35 million for FY 2011 to make up, in part, for a $492 million projected budget shortfall in FY2012.
The House met that challenge with its rescission bill.
However, the Senate cut $3.6 million, spending more on special education funding.
The state stands to lose millions in federal special education funds in perpetuity for failing to maintain funding levels to special ed.
The two versions of the bill are in the conference committee with members of the two houses at a stalemate on how to resolve the differences in the bills.
If the two houses can’t come to a compromise on the bill, the decision will be left up to the governor to make allotments.
It appeared like there was a compromise made last week — borrow from KPERS to fund special education and keep the federal cash flowing, and repay KPERS next year.
But that stalled.
The governor undoubtedly will make the cuts outlined in his rescission recommendations.
Harvey County is unique in that it has two members on this powerful conference committee — Rep. Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, chairman of the House Allocations Committee, and Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, chairwoman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
We should expect leadership and not stalemate from our hometown legislators.
By standing pat, the House may be trying to pass the nasty budget ax to the governor.
We do not think this is how a legislative body should function.
House members should consider the long-term ramifications of the loss of federal special education funding, and the Senate should work with House members to find long-term solutions to the FY2012 shortfall.
A budget crisis is no time for conservative grand standing. Compromise is the cornerstone of a representative Democracy.
— The Editorial Board
Editorial: End the stalemate
Mar 1, 2011 at 12:01 AM Mar 1, 2011 at 12:22 AM