Kansas budget may be settled today

Last night the Kansas Senate Ways and Means committee came up with a new tax package. The main ingredients are a one cent per dollar increase in the statewide sales tax, but no increase in cigarette taxes. The package relies on the federal government extending a Medicare matching funds program boost, which Congress has not yet passed.

Yesterday the House postponed debate on its tax bill until today.

Several senators said it is unknown whether the Senate has enough votes to pass its budget bills. Sources in the House and other observers tell me that the most likely scenario is that the House will agree to whatever passes the Senate.

Tomorrow is the last day the legislature has money to pay salaries for both members and support staff such as legislators’ secretaries. There are some contingency funds that could be used to extend the number of days that can be paid, however.

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