Brownback proposes same budget allotment for K

WATCH LIVE: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback delivers State of the State address

In his final State of the State address, Brownback advocated that over the next five years $600 million in funding to Kansas School Districts.

When asked if the state had the money to spend, Budget Director Shawn Sullivan said the national economy has helped.

The court ruled in October that the state's education funding in inadequate under the state constitution even after lawmakers phased in a $293 million increase over two years to increase it to $4.3 billion a year.

The governor said he was proposing goals along with the funding because, "the people of Kansas expect results". "My proposal does not include a tax increase".

"I'm not sure what the logic is behind it", said state Sen.

Some lawmakers are frustrated that Brownback fought the tax increase a year ago, but it's now helping pay for his proposed $600 million boost in school spending.

And lawmakers have been debating whether the court would accept a law that phases in an increase in school funding over several years.

The governor's proposed budget also includes extra spending to continue pay raises granted in the fall for officers in the state's stressed prison system, cover gaps in funding for state mental hospitals and raise reimbursements for hospitals and nursing homes providing services to the poor and elderly.

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Late Wednesday Governor Sam Brownback's office released the following statement in response to the reaction to his budget. The tax measure, coming after years of revenue shortfalls, was seen as a rejection of Brownback's plan to steadily reduce and eventually eliminate the state income tax.

President Donald Trump nominated Brownback to be ambassador at large for global religious freedom in July, but the confirmation process has moved forward slowly and it's unclear when the U.S. Senate will vote. With the White House reconfirming Governor Brownback, the Senate will need to take up his confirmation once more. He accused them of using the new revenues to finance unnecessary spending.

Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, a conservative Kansas City-area Republican, initially called Brownback's proposal "insulting" and said Wednesday after seeing more details, "It doesn't look any better".

"We have received the decree of the Kansas Supreme Court and are putting forth a proposal to comply, as we have done with the prior decisions", Brownback said.

Watch the Kansas State of the State live in the video player above.

"I still have concerns whether on the outlying years with the increases the Governor has made through K-12 education, whether or not we're able to balance the budget", added State Rep. Troy Waymaster, R-Bunker Hill.

Even Democrats, seeing new funds for schools as desirable, considered Brownback's proposal unworkable. "We're going to have to be the bad guys". He's also running to be elected governor in November.

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