Archive for Monday, February 16, 2009

State suspends paying income tax refunds, may miss payroll as money tightens

February 16, 2009

— State Republican legislative leaders Monday demanded that Gov. Kathleen Sebelius sign the budget cutting bill they passed last week before they will agree to issue inter-governmental loans to make state payments for payroll, public schools, health care and income tax refunds, officials said.

Democrats denounced the move by House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, and Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, calling it "blackmail" and "irresponsible."

Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka said the Republicans were trying to shut down state government to get their way.

"This is entirely irresponsible on the part of the Republican leadership to do this," Hensley said.

Sebelius had called for a meeting of the State Finance Council to issue $225 million in what are called certificates of indebtedness to handle cash-flow problems.

Sebelius' budget director Duane Goossen said the certificates are needed to make state payments. The state on Friday had to delay income tax refunds because of a lack of funds in the state general fund, he said.

Republican leaders have scheduled a news conference this afternoon.

Check back to this site for complete coverage of the news conference and more on this story.

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