Brownback Budget Director Shawn Sullivan was outlining the governor’s proposals Wednesday during meetings of the House budget and tax committees and the Senate budget committee.
The governor said during his State of the State address Tuesday evening that he would propose “modest, targeted” tax increases. He wasn’t specific but legislators expect him to seek higher liquor and tobacco taxes.
He also told reporters later that his proposals would include “one-time measures” to tide the state over until June 30.
The state faces a projected shortfall of $342 million in its current budget and gaps in funding for existing programs totaling $1.1 billion through June 2019.
Brownback also is calling on legislators to pass school choice measures and is reiterating his support for merit pay for teachers.
He expressed his support for initiatives favored by fellow conservatives in his State of the State address but provided few details.
He called for creating more competition in education and for expanding a program in which poor students can receive scholarships to attend private schools. The state gives an income tax break to corporations that contribute to scholarship funds.
Brownback also said the state should create a program for grading schools.
But lobbyist Mark Desetti of the Kansas National Education Association teachers union said Brownback is pushing ideas that have failed in other states. He said the governor is “behind the curve.”