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Under the Dome - May 24, 2013

It was a quick day

Last night we reported that the Senate passed a tax bill - something we'd all been waiting on. Finally, a tax bill passed! The bill was the Senate's last offer in the tax conference committee and included income tax reductions, the phasing out of itemized deductions, reductions in the standard deduction, and permanently increasing the sales tax on most purchases (6.3%) while lowering the sales tax on food (4.95%).

That bill went to the House this morning where it was soundly defeated on a vote of 109 to 5. So much for there being any support for the sales tax increase in the House. So much for any support for phasing out itemized deductions completely.

Both chambers then adjourned for the long weekend. They will be back Tuesday for day two of overtime. Today was the 91st day of the 90 day Kansas legislative session; the session that leadership had announced would be over in 80 days. Estimates are that taxpayers must spend more than $40,000 for each day the legislature is in session. So when their work is not done on time, the daily tab is more than $40,000 in "overtime."

Meanwhile K-12 education funding is flat, higher education is to be cut 1.5% per year for two years, and people still languish on social service waiting lists.

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