- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget director says Brownback doesn’t plan to divert funds from the state’s public pension system again to help close budget shortfalls.

Budget Director Shawn Sullivan told a legislative committee Friday that the diversion of nearly $41 million from the pension system for teachers and government workers to general government programs is a one-time event.

The Republican governor diverted the money to help close a projected $279 million shortfall in the current budget. The state also faces a $436 million gap in its budget for the fiscal year beginning in July.

The diversion sparked bipartisan criticism because the pension system’s benefits are only 60 percent funded through 2033. A 2012 law boosted contributions by both the state and workers to ensure that the system becomes fully funded.

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