Stephen Koranda

Stephen is the statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio.

Stephen Koranda file photo

Kansas lawmakers will be back for one more day later this month. That will be the ceremonial end to the 2015 legislative session, the longest in state history. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, they wrapped up their normal work late Friday and left Topeka.

Lawmakers faced an $800 million deficit, but they had found ways to fill around half of that. They struggled to pass a tax plan to fill a $400 million remaining hole in the budget. The situation was made more serious when Governor Sam Brownback gave lawmakers a deadline to pass a plan or face massive budget cuts.

Stephen Koranda

The Kansas House narrowly passed a tax bill around 4 a.m. this morning after an overnight debate. The chamber had previously rejected several tax proposals. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the bill’s passage may pave the way for the end of the 2015 legislative session.

Stephen Koranda file photo

Legislators are going back to the drawing board on taxes after a proposal failed in the Kansas House this morning. More tax discussions are scheduled for later today. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports on the latest setback in the record-long 2015 session, now in its 112th day.

Stephen Koranda file photod

Lawmakers in the Kansas House were sharply divided over a tax bill debated last night. The measure seemed to be on its way to failure before the vote was paused at midnight by a legislative rule.

Republican Rep. Marvin Kleeb urged lawmakers to pass the bill, saying it was likely their last option to avoid cuts to state services like K-12 education. They’ve already approved a budget, but it needs around $400 million in new revenue to balance.

A tax bill seemed to be headed for failure in the Kansas House last night when a legislative rule paused the debate. The vote was temporarily stopped at 86-29 against the bill. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, House members put in place a rule this year saying they can’t work past midnight.

The vote was being held open while members who were out of town were summoned back to the Statehouse. There was also last-minute lobbying happening in an attempt to sway lawmakers. But all that stopped at midnight and the vote will resume today.

Stephen Koranda file photo

Tax negotiators from the Kansas House have presented a new agreement that they hope can pass the chamber and move the Legislature towards ending the 2015 session.

The proposal is close to a plan already approved by the Senate. It relies mostly on increasing the sales tax and eliminating tax deductions to balance the budget.

The House’s plan does adjust some controversial policy pieces in the Senate bill, including softening a cap on local property tax increases.

Stephen Koranda

The Kansas House and Senate have approved the budget for the coming two fiscal years. However, that plan needs around $400 million in tax increases, or budget cuts, to be balanced. The House and Senate haven’t been able to agree on a tax plan. There has been talk that lawmakers could leave town and force the governor to cut spending to balance the budget. KPR's Stephen Koranda reports.

   

Stephen Koranda file photo

If Kansas lawmakers can’t reach a tax agreement soon, they could leave Topeka and let Gov. Sam Brownback make cuts to balance the budget. Both chambers have approved a budget, but have not agreed on a tax plan to fill a hole of around $400 million dollars.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Terry Bruce says the chance of lawmakers leaving the budget unbalanced increases if they haven’t reached a tax compromise in the next few days.

Stephen Koranda file photo

The Kansas House decided not to take up a tax bill yesterday that was sent to them by the state Senate. Lawmakers return for day 110 of the legislative session today, and the only item left on their plate is balancing the budget. KPR's Stephen Koranda reports.

Both chambers in the Kansas Legislature have now approved the budget, but the bill needs around $400 million in tax increases, or budget cuts, to be balanced. The Senate passed a tax plan on Sunday.

Stephen Koranda

Governor Sam Brownback says he supports a tax plan passed by the Kansas Senate and he’s now urging House members to approve the bill. Lawmakers have approved a budget but need to pass a tax bill to fund the budget before the session can end.

Brownback calls the tax plan passed by the Senate a good proposal.

“It’s been thoroughly discussed and it’s past time to get this done and move it forward. Yes, I will sign it,” Brownback says.

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