TOPEKA — Watching Senate budget committee discussions Friday was a little like a shell game — in the end, no one found the elusive fix.
Trying to fill an expected $186 million-plus shortfall in this year’s budget, senators cut some revenue sources tapped by the governor’s proposed budget and tried to add money to a few funds.
The tweaks and edits took the 13-member committee about five hours, but it put off the most contentious issue — education —until Tuesday.
Normally, budget discussions don’t pop up until March, when the Legislature typically debates its main budget bill. But the shortfall could grow to $1 billion in the 2010 budget if nothing is done now. So lawmakers are starting the session with talk about how to fill the gap.
Nothing raised emotions more than money for schools.