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Kansas Lawmakers Pass Tax Plan to Beat Budget Deadline

Photo by Stephen Koranda

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 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.

To get the votes needed, legislative leaders took a turn to the right, politically, and appealed to conservatives. They put together a plan that will increase the sales tax, reduce tax deductions and further cut the budget. Add in the pressure of the impending deadline and the bill passed both chambers with the minimum number of votes needed.

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