VIDEO: Legislators react to Gov. Brownback’s budget cuts

Rebecca Zepick / State of the State KS

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback made $56 million in cuts to this year’s budget Friday after negotiations broke down between the Kansas House and Senate after weeks of debate.

The two sides had come to agreement on major issues but talks ended when Senate negotiators became frustrated that House Republicans announced they would present the negotiated budget but would not encourage legislators to support it.

Senate Negotiator Carolyn McGinn (R), said, “WellI think It’s important, once you go through several rounds of negotiation, and giving and take on both sides, I think it’s important,when you take that bill to your own chamber, to support that bill.”

But conservative House Republicans said they wanted a larger ending balance and had a public mandate to reduce the size of government after large victories in last November’s elections.

Speaker of the House Arlen Siegfreid (R) said, “That victory was predicated on smaller government, less spending, and we just believe there’s just foundational problems in the way we budget that have to be corrected.”

A majority of the cuts, over fifty million dollars, will be taken from K-12 public education. Democrats said the Governor’s decision will have an impact on school children around the state.

“I’m disappointed the Governor chose to take $50 million out of the total$56 million out of education, out of the base, for our children,” said Democratic House Negotiator Representative Bill Feuerborn, (D).

The Kansas Constitution requires the state to balance it’s budget each fiscal year. Legislators now turn to the larger battle of trying to create a budget for the next year that begins July 1, 2011.