Brownback signs bill eliminating most of $344 million shortfall in state's current budget



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TOPEKA, Kansas — Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill closing most of a projected $344 million shortfall in the state's current budget.

Brownback announced his action Tuesday and said lawmakers worked hard in passing it last week.

The bill mostly diverts money from highway projects and other special funds to general government spending. The state also is shorting contributions to pensions for teachers and government workers.

Separately, Brownback announced plans last week to cut nearly $45 million in funding for public schools and higher education.

Kansas also faces an additional shortfall of nearly $600 million in the budget for the next fiscal year, beginning July 1.

The budget problems arose after lawmakers aggressively cut income taxes at Brownback's urging in 2012 and 2013.

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