In this issue …
- Tax cut committee will meet
- Budget: 41 items to go
Tax cut committee will meet
The tax conference committee expected to take up an alternative to the draconian income tax cut sent to the Governor last week will meet Tuesday after whichever chamber adjourns last, the House or Senate.
The committee had been scheduled to meet Monday afternoon, but the meeting was cancelled almost as soon as it was scheduled. It appears Senate leaders are preparing an offer for the House. There is speculation that the fiscal note didn’t look quite right, which resulted in the conference committee cancellation, sending Senators back to the drawing board.
Another drama apparently played out Monday morning, described online by the Wichita Eagle’s Brent Wistrom:
“House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, this morning told House Republicans that he, Senate President Steve Morris and Brownback met this morning and that Morris asked Brownback to veto the tax cut bill awaiting a signature and that, if Brownback vetoes it, the Senate would take up the negotiated tax plan. Brownback reportedly declined.”
After last week’s passage of Senate Substitute for House Bill 2117, the ill will is so thick in the Statehouse that there’s considerable speculation that anything new will not pass the Senate. There’s also growing conjecture about whether a new lighter income tax cut could pass the House of Representatives.
With 63 votes needed for passage, there were 64 votes for last week’s bill. Hard right House members who supported the measure are said to be happy with what occurred and could be unwilling to pass a lighter version of last week’s bill, which is widely expected to result in deep budget cuts in future years.
As was the case with last year’s budget, it might be that moderate Republicans hold the key to passing something less onerous. The question is whether they are willing to do so knowing that tax cut advocates are already congregating their forces for a primary election massacre of moderates. “Why should I help them if they’re still coming after me?” many are asking.
Budget: 41 items to go
The Ways & Means/Appropriations conference committee on the budget met four times Monday and returns at 10 Tuesday morning for more negotiating. The House is expected to make the next offer at that time. One count puts the remaining items for agreement at 41.
The budget is the remaining major item lawmakers must finish before leaving, along with redistricting. The budget could be done by Wednesday at the earliest. Redistricting might not pass, in which case the Kansas Supreme Court would pick the maps.