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Legislature at 100th Day - will work the weekend

30 May 2015 12:45 PM | Anonymous

Legislature at 100th Day - will work the weekend

The Kansas Legislature has gone into overtime (beyond their allotted 90 day session).  House and Senate Tax Committee have struggled to create a revenue plan that can attract support from 63 House members and 21 Senators.  

The Legislature will work through the last weekend of May as they attempt to pass legislation to fill a budget hole of approximately $385 to $400 million that will be needed to pay for FY 16 and FY 17 budget as it currently stands in the conference committee report.  So far, neither the House nor the Senate has been able to pass anything except a limited bill to provide for a tax amnesty policy (allowing past due taxpayers to pay what they owe without penalties in 2015) that raises only $30 million.  The House and Senate will continue to attempt various combinations of tax policy – including increases to sales tax, tobacco tax, eliminating various deductions and amending or delaying the 2012-13 income tax reductions.  Liquor taxes have been on and off the table - but haven't passed committees in either chamber.  Floor debates are scheduled today and tomorrow - but the final plan may have to be crafted in conference committee, using a loose interpretation of rules to insert various concepts into the report.  If the deadlock continues for much longer, further budget cuts are likely to be tested as well.

At this point, the mega-budget bill remains in conference committee.  That bill includes the 4% across the board cuts to all agencies – cuts that will reduce budgets for several mental health advocacy organizations and CROs.  The agreements thus far also includes late session additions that were passed by the Appropriations Committee and the Ways and Means Committee and simply inserted into the conference committee report.



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