Kansas Budget

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) Gov. Sam Brownback proposes to add $44 million for higher education to the state’s current and next fiscal year budgets to offset cuts made last year by legislators.

But some Democrats were skeptical Thursday of the Brownback’s proposals.

Spending on higher education was an unusual area of disagreement between Brownback and fellow Republicans in the GOP-dominated Legislature.

Lawmakers trimmed a total of about $46 million in higher education spending for the current fiscal year and the one beginning July 1 combined. Brownback had wanted to keep spending flat.

He’s proposing to restore about $11 million over the two fiscal years for salaries, with the rest of the additional money going to special projects.

Democratic Sen. Marci Francisco of Lawrence said funding new initiatives is questionable when existing items are underfunded.