Kansas Senate passes tax bill, on to House

Tonight the Kansas Senate passed its tax bill, adding about $330 million in new taxes for fiscal year 2011, which begins on July 1, 2010. The primary source of the new tax revenue is a one cent per dollar increase in the sales tax. The measure passed with 23 votes in the 40 member Senate.

Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson issued this statement after the legislation passed:

This evening, as I worked in my Statehouse office and listened to the floor debate, I was stirred by the honesty, sincerity and passion with which Senators spoke.

Tonight, 23 Senators — some Republican, some Democrat; some from our rural districts, some from our urban cores — put politics aside and came together for the common good.

These leaders stood up, and protected those things which make our state great: quality schools, safe communities and a society that does not turn its back on those most in need.

I am proud of these leaders, and I know Kansans are too. There is still work to be done and challenges ahead, but we are moving forward, protecting what we have and building for the future.

Somehow voting for tax increases has become confused with political courage.

Voting Yes on the bill were all Senate Democrats except Chris Steineger. Joining them were Republicans Pete Brungardt, Jay Emler, Terrie Huntington, Bob Marshall, Carolyn McGinn, Senate President Stephen Morris, Ralph Ostmeyer, Tim Owens, Roger Reitz, Vicki Schmidt, Jean Schodorf, Mark Taddiken, Ruth Teichman, Dwayne Umbarger, and Senate Vice President John Vratil.

Voting No on the bill were Republicans Steve Abrams, Pat Apple, Jim Barnett, Karin Brownlee, Terry Bruce, Jeff Colyer, Les Donovan, Tim Huelskamp, Dick Kelsey, Julia Lynn, Ty Masterson, Mike Petersen, Mary Pilcher-Cook, Dennis Pyle, Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, and Susan Wagle. As mentioned above, Democrat Chris Steineger voted No.

9 Comments

  • This is really upsetting. Every day I think I can’t get more upset at our politicians but then I do. They are total weasels. Who is NOT angry yet?!?!

  • You are angry that the children will continue to be educated?
    I am not happy about another penny added to a dollar purchase, either, but teachers must be paid and the lights must stay on in the classrooms. And that takes tax dollars.

  • The Democrat governor could not get this tax increase passed if it want’s for the Republican majority. I hope they all run for re-election touting how courageous they were imposing a huge tax increase on the entire State of Kansas.

  • What angers me is our legislatures inability to control their spending habits. Just three years ago our state had a significant budget surplus, and yes our legislature spent the money. The fiscally “left leaning” State Senators who voted yes for this tax hike, indeed provide the voters with a good list of the Senators who need to be voted out during the next election cycle. House members who vote for this outrage, need to be added to the list too!!!

  • I am sorry, but I refuse to accept that “our children won’t be educated” if a tax increase isn’t passed! 65% of our entire Kansas budget goes to education. Just USD 259 alone has 5 typed pages of “administrators” that make $100,000 or very near to this.

    People just repeat this teachers-union inspired rhetoric without knowing any of the facts. The facts are that Kansas is having tough times. The majority of Kansas money goes to education, and those with the checkbooks are spending it unwisely!

    Time for everyone to realize that there is plenty of money for education in Kansas. Time to fire some bureaucrats and give it to the teachers and the classrooms.

  • There is still work to be done and challenges ahead, but we are moving forward, protecting what we have and building for the future.
    I’m happy to read this. However, I hope that these lawmakers will indeed be sincere in their efforts to protect what we have and to build our future.

  • Hi, we’re buying a lot of crap to go with keeping the lights on and paying teacher’s salaries. There are a lot of coordinators, social workers, school psychologists, assistant principals, curriculum specialists, and other make work jobs at USD 259. Many are due to the “No Child Left Behind” fiasco (thanks George), many are due our own blatant stupidity. Any USD 259 employee that doesn’t actually teach in a classroom, sweep up in the classroom, or cook in the cafeteria is OVERHEAD. Overhead needs to be greatly reduced.

    Note that while we’re begging for $ this year, next year we’re building a new gym at East High, two new high schools, and a plethora of other buildings at USD 259. Why? Google it, it’s on the USD 259 website, but I couldn’t find it from the front end…

    Mike

  • Am in total agreement with Speaker of the House Rep. Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson. He pointed out that the tax increase would pad the government sector while robbing the private sector of employment.

    “The Governor’s tax increase actually has nothing to do with keeping Kansas jobs. It’s more of big government digging into the pockets of hard working Kansans in an attempt to make government stronger at the expense of the private sector,” O’Neal said.

  • Anonymous, I don’t know all the particulars of the education budget, but I do know there is a lot of spending in the budget at large. There were other non-education things they could have cut but didn’t. They are simply addicted to spending.

    Furthermore, the education budget has been growing a lot in recent years; somehow I don’t think that taking the education budget back a few years in terms of size is going to cause a catastrophic decline in the quality of public education or keep them from paying their electrical bills. Public education is already worse than private education, and yet private schools run on a lot less money. (My son’s private school runs on about $7000 less per student than the public schools. Even considering that public schools have extra costs they must bear, that’s quite a disparity.) Being a near-monopoly, public schools don’t exactly have a lot of incentive to figure out how to run on a reasonable budget like everyone in the private sector has to. They have more incentive to complain that we need higher taxes (which they know the legislature will give them).

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