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Kansas House Tax Debate Paused by Legislative Rule

The Kansas House chamber. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

A tax bill seemed to be headed for failure in the Kansas House last night (WED) 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 (THUR).

Republican Representative John Rubin pushed for the rule against working late.

“That’s no way to make public policy, to wait until people cave by attrition. It gets to be three, four, five in the morning and they say ‘oh, the heck with it. I’m going to vote yes just so we can get out of here,’” says Rubin.

The proposal before the House would partially rely on raising sales taxes and eliminating tax deductions to help fill a budget hole. A similar plan has already passed the Kansas Senate.

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