Both chambers of the Kansas Legislature last week adopted versions of a $14 billion budget for fiscal 2013, but differences in the measures will require negotiations by a conference committee.

An omnibus budget bill will be developed that resolves the differences and accounts for any changes in expected revenue due to legislative action.

The Consensus Estimating Conference will meet in April before the end of the session to adopt the revenue estimate for fiscal 2013 that will be the basis of the final budget.

The Senate bill reduces spending by $572 million from fiscal 2012 and results in a $460 million surplus. However, the spending plan does not account for a planned $50 million increase for public schools and $45 million earmarked to lower local property taxes.

The version adopted by the House reduces spending by $600 million. The House bill restored $29 million of cuts for public education by taking $25 million from the Kansas Department of Transportation’s highway program.

The Senate version also contains $8.5 million for the fourth year of a planned five-year effort to make state salaries more competitive with the private sector. The House bill does not.

The Senate bill also includes $16 million more for children’s programs than requested by Gov. Sam Brownback.

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