The Kansas Senate narrowly passed a budget package Thursday that wipes out Gov. Laura Kelly's proposed pay raises for state employees and pulls a Medicaid clearinghouse back into the state.
The $18.1 billion appropriations bill includes the court-ordered funding for public schools, a $160 million restoration of funding for highway projects and support for programs that help disabled Kansans.
Senators passed the bill on a 21-18 vote.
"It's solid," said Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, a Republican from Overland Park. "It addresses all those agencies that we've not been able to address."
Democrats spoke favorably of the budget package but opposed it because it assumes $200 million in tax breaks that Kelly is widely expected to veto.
Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, asked to delay the vote until next week to give the governor more time to review the tax bill, which provides relief for multinational corporations, individual income deductions and food.
Hensley produced a budget profile that shows a $525 million deficit in 2022 if the tax cuts survive.
"Who in the world wants to vote for an ending balance like that?" Hensley said. "None of us do."
Denning said the governor could have "sorted this out very easily" by taking action on the tax bill.
"I don't know why she hasn't acted on it," Denning said. "She knew we were doing the budget today. Everything has to be hard."
The budget allows for $7.7 billion in general fund allocations. It takes into account the refusal to support Kelly's refinancing of the state pension system, which adds $160 million to next year's expenses.
The budget would eliminate $11.8 million set aside for Maximus, the Reston, Va., company that processes Medicaid applications and became a lightning rod for criticism over backlogs, mistakes and public complaints.
Kelly requested $63.5 million for a 2.5 percent raise for state employees, and $20.5 million to address staffing concerns with the judicial branch. That funding was eliminated from the Senate budget.
Included in the budget is $1.5 million to address a Hepatitis C outbreak in state prisons and $1.8 million for primary health projects.
"We addressed the needs the best we could with the resources available to us," said Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick.
An amendment from Denning strengthens language from a 2014 law that blocks the use of state funds for Medicaid without the authorization of the Legislature.