Legislators still split on funding for Affordable Airfares

TOPEKA — The Kansas House and Senate still are split on whether to fund the Kansas Affordable Airfares Program, leaders announced this afternoon.

Sen. Sam Brownback has included the money in his recommended budget. The state has budgeted that amount for affordable air service in Wichita since 2006. The five-year commitment ends this year.

The money is in the Senate’s version of the budget. But the House stripped the money in its version.

Today during a conference committee meeting of the House’s appropriations committee and the Senate’s ways and means committee, leaders said they were still at odds.

Wichita and Sedgwick County officials point to a state audit that showed that for every $1 the state spends on the program, it gets back $2.32. Affordable airfares, they say, are crucial to keeping and attracting businesses to the state, particularly in the Wichita area.