Yesterday’s edition of the KPTS television public affairs program Ask Your Legislator featured talk on taxes and speculation that a special session of the Kansas Legislature might be needed this summer.
Senator John Vratil, a Republican from Leawood and vice-president of the Senate, said that the way to solve the budget problem is through a combination of cuts and tax increases. He said its unlikely that there will be increases in income taxes and property taxes.
Vratil has been in favor of a variety of tax increases, including raising the sales tax and starting a tax on soda pop.
Representative Marti Crow, a Leavenworth Democrat said she’s heard rumors that House leadership is talking about “going home” without a budget. She said it’s been a “do nothing” year in the house, and that it’s irresponsible for the legislature to not be doing its job.
Vratil said that the Senate leadership has taken the position that the budget should be handled until after the consensus revenue estimates become available on April 16. This is different from the usual practice, where the legislature creates on budget by the end of March, and then revises it after the April estimates are available.
He said it is possible that there could be a special session of the legislature in July to deal with the budget.
Both Vratil and Crow said that there will probably be future efforts to extend the recently-passed smoking ban in Kansas to include casino floors. They also added that their constituents are in favor of tax increaes.
Reporting from the Lawrence Journal-World is at Senate vice president says special session on budget possible.