Kansas Budget Disaster Makes Sam Brownback Cry

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback listens to a reporters question during a news conference in his Statehouse office in Topeka, Kan., Monday, Jan. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
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Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) “choked up” during a private meeting with Kansas House Republicans over discussions on closing the state’s $400 million budget deficit.

“He got emotional,” an unnamed legislator who attended the private meeting said, according to the Topeka Capitol-Journal reported on Wednesday. “He was eager for us to come together as a party.”

Another lawmaker said Brownback described making budget cuts “really difficult to do before.”

Brownback’s office didn’t respond to requests for comments by the Kansas newspaper.

In the Tuesday meeting, according to the Capitol-Journal, Brownback expressed concern that if House and Senate lawmakers didn’t come to a deal he would have to order sweeping 6 percent cuts across the state’s budget.

Brownback, according to legislators at the meeting, also recalled all the public criticism he’s received over the dim state of Kansas’s budget, including being booed at a NCAA game in Omaha between two Kansas universities —Wichita State and The University of Kansas.

Very early Friday morning, the Kansas House was able to pass a compromise bill that aims to fill the $400 million budget deficit. The bill did not pass until 4 a.m., according to The Wichita Eagle.

The state’s budget has been an ongoing problem for Brownback thanks to the deep tax cuts he’s put in place. The resulting shortfall has forced the very conservative Kansas governor to look at any possible option to improve the state’s finances, even expanding Medicaid through Obamacare, a cardinal sin for Republicans.

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