UNITED STATES NEWS

GOP leaders still can’t overcome the Kansas governor’s veto to enact big tax cuts

Apr 29, 2024, 4:53 PM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican legislators narrowly failed again Monday to enact a broad package of tax cuts over Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto, making it likely that lawmakers would end their second annual session in a row without major reductions.

The state Senate voted 26-14 to override Kelly’s veto of a package of income, sales and property tax cuts worth about $1.5 billion over the next three years, but that was one vote short of the necessary two-thirds majority. Three dissident Republican senators joined all 11 Democratic senators in voting no, dashing GOP leaders’ hopes of flipping at least one of them after the House voted 104-15 on Friday to override Kelly’s veto.

The governor called the tax plan “too expensive,” suggesting it would lead to future budget problems for the state. Kelly also told fellow Democrats that she believes Kansas’ current three personal income tax rates ensure that the wealthy pay their fair share. The plan would have moved to two rates, cutting the highest rate to 5.55% from 5.7%.

Republican leaders argued that the difference in the long-term costs between the plan Kelly vetoed and a plan worth roughly $1.3 billion over three years that she proposed last week were small enough that both would have roughly the same effect on the budget over five or six years. Democrats split over the plan’s fairness, with most House Democrats agreeing with most Republicans in both chambers in seeing it as a good plan for poor and working class taxpayers.

The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn for the year at the close of Tuesday’s business, and Republican leaders don’t plan to try again to pass a tax bill before then.

“This tax process is baked,” Senate tax committee Chair Caryn Tyson, a Republican from rural eastern Kansas, told her colleagues. “We are finished. This is the last train out of the station.”

Kelly vetoed Republican tax plans in 2023 and in January that would have moved Kansas to a single personal income tax rate, something Kelly said would benefit the “super wealthy.”

Democrats and the dissident Republicans in the Senate argued that the House and Senate could negotiate a new tax plan along the lines of what Kelly proposed last week and dump it into an existing bill for up-or-down votes in both chambers — in a single day, if GOP leaders were willing.

Dissident GOP Sen. Dennis Pyle, from the state’s northeastern corner, said lawmakers were making progress. Top Republicans had backed off their push for a single-rate personal income tax and both bills Kelly vetoed this year would have exempted retirees Social Security benefits from state income taxes, when those taxes now kick in when they earn $75,000 a year or more.

Kelly herself declared in her January veto message that to enact tax relief, “I’ll call a special session if I have to.”

“Just look at how far we’ve come,” Pyle told his colleagues. “Our work is not finished.”

The bill Kelly vetoed also would have reduced the state’s property taxes for public schools, saving the owner of a $250,000 home about $142 a year. It would have eliminated an already set-to-expire 2% sales tax on groceries six months early, on July 1. The governor backed those provisions, along with the exemptions for Social Security benefits.

United States News

Nissan...

Associated Press

Nissan warns owners of older vehicles about risk of exploding air bag inflators

Nissan is urging the owners of about 84,000 older vehicles to stop driving them because their Takata air bag inflators have an increased risk of exploding in a crash and hurling dangerous metal fragments.

3 minutes ago

Associated Press

Seattle police chief dismissed from top job amid discrimination, harassment lawsuits

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle’s embattled police chief has been dismissed, Mayor Bruce Harrel said Wednesday. Harrell said at a news conference that he met with Police Chief Adrian Diaz on Tuesday and they agreed Diaz should step down. He will work on special assignments for the mayor with the police department, Harrell said. Diaz’s departure […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Disneyland performers’ vote to unionize is certified by federal labor officials

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Character and parade performers at Disneyland in California are officially unionized. Federal labor officials said Wednesday that they’ve certified the results of a three-day election that took place earlier this month in Anaheim. Actors’ Equity Association will represent roughly 1,700 performers and assistants who help bring Disney’s popular characters to life […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Massachusetts fugitive dubbed the ‘bad breath rapist’ captured in California after 16 years at large

DANVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A fugitive dubbed the “bad breath rapist” has been arrested in the San Francisco Bay Area more than 16 years after he fled following his conviction for sexually assaulting a coworker in Massachusetts, authorities said this week. Tuen Kit Lee was found guilty at a 2007 trial of the kidnapping and […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

West Virginia’s first ombudsman for state’s heavily burdened foster care system resigns

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The first ombudsman of West Virginia’s heavily burdened foster care system has resigned. Pamela Woodman-Kaehler’s resignation will take effect June 6, the state Department of Health announced in a statement. Woodman-Kaehler said she was “choosing to pursue a new opportunity,” but did not provide more details. Woodman-Kaehler said the ombudsman’s program […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Ohio man gets probation after pleading guilty to threatening North Caroilna legislator

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — An Ohio man received supervised probation after pleading guilty to threatening to kill a North Carolina state senator in a social media message last year. Nicolas Alan Daniels, of West Portsmouth, Ohio, entered a plea to one felony count of threatening a legislative officer last Thursday in Wake County court, according […]

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

GOP leaders still can’t overcome the Kansas governor’s veto to enact big tax cuts