Stephen Koranda

Stephen is the statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio.

Kansas Legislature

Governor Sam Brownback’s administration says the governor will veto any tax bills that include a roll-back of business income tax cuts. Brownback’s secretary of revenue made that announcement over the weekend. But Republican Representative Mark Hutton, from Wichita, says he’ll keep pushing for a change in business income tax rules.

Stephen Koranda file photo

Governor Sam Brownback’s administration says many state workers will be sent home without pay starting June 7th if Kansas lawmakers don’t pass a budget. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports...

Brownback’s budget director Shawn Sullivan told a group of Senators at the Statehouse yesterday that the furloughs would happen unless a Kansas budget is in place by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday.

“We don’t have authority to pay employees past June 6th without a budget giving us authority to do that,” Sullivan says.

Stephen Koranda file photo

The Kansas secretary of revenue says Republican Governor Sam Brownback will veto any attempts to roll back business income tax cuts. Secretary Nick Jordan told a group of senators yesterday that Brownback was opposed to any broad changes to business tax rules.

More than 300,000 business owners pay zero state income tax because of the 2012 tax cut, and some lawmakers want to look at amending that to help close a budget gap.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Terry Bruce believes the governor has shut the door on that issue for now.

The Kansas House had been planning to debate a tax bill Thursday, but dissatisfied members of the chamber were able to stop the debate before it even started. The bill failed to get the two-thirds vote needed to be brought up for debate. It appears conservative Republicans and a small number of Democrats were able to block the discussion.

House Republican Majority Leader Jene Vickrey says the bill will be back on the agenda Friday.

 

Stephen Koranda

After the first week of June, Kansas state employees could be furloughed if there isn’t a budget in place for the coming fiscal year. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, Republican Governor Sam Brownback’s administration has said they are working on plans to do that.

 

While his office is considering options, Governor Brownback says they have some flexibility on when Kansas state workers would be sent home without pay. Brownback says he’ll be pushing for lawmakers to avoid furloughs.

Stephen Koranda

The Kansas Senate spent hours yesterday debating a tax plan and eventually there was agreement: Virtually everyone in the chamber agreed that they did not like the bill. The plan failed with 30 votes against it and only one in favor. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports on the proposal, which would have raised a variety of taxes to fill a budget hole.

 

The Kansas Senate has spent today debating a bill that would raise taxes to close a projected budget shortfall.

The work started with Republican Sen. Dennis Pyle moving to kill the tax bill, saying increasing taxes is not the way to fix the state’s budget. He wants lawmakers to look for more budget cuts.

“By not raising taxes, you’re going to empower the private sector," Pyle says. "Or are you going to empower big government, are you going to empower more government consumption?”

Stephen Koranda

Kansas lawmakers return to Topeka Tuesday after a four-day weekend. As Stephen Koranda reports, they’ll have to wrap up tax and budget issues before they can end the session.

Lawmakers can’t leave until they balance the budget. They seem to be leaning towards a tax increase following tax cuts in recent years, but there’s still division among lawmakers over what kinds of taxes should be increased.

The Senate will take up their first tax proposal this week, after abruptly canceling a debate on a bill last week and then leaving town for the holiday.

Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Legislature has approved a compromise with the ride-hailing service Uber that should bring the company back to Kansas. As Stephen Koranda reports, the bill is now headed to Governor Sam Brownback for consideration.

Both chambers in the Kansas Legislature easily passed the compromise, which adds background checks for drivers and insurance requirements.

Some lawmakers say similar laws could appear around the country.

Stephen Koranda

House lawmakers are going back to the drawing board on Monday after the chamber roundly rejected a tax proposal last week. The bill they rejected would have mostly relied on a sales tax increase to fill a budget hole of more than $400 million. Statehouse reporter Stephen Koranda explains...

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