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.