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Kan. lawmakers touring higher education campuses

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Coming off a divisive budget debate this spring, Kansas legislators and higher education officials hope fact-finding visits to campuses this month by lawmakers will lessen tensions.

But the groups have different goals ahead of the tour.

The Republican-controlled Legislature reduced funding for universities, community colleges and technical colleges by 3 percent for the fiscal year that began in July and kept it at about that level for the next fiscal year.

Higher education officials said the tour starting Tuesday allows them to educate legislators about campus needs, showcase strong programs and demonstrate efficient operations.

The conservative Republicans controlling both legislative chambers are committing the state to cutting personal income taxes, believing it will stimulate economic growth. They are looking for information that helps them rein in spending.