Clash over tax relief quickly coming to a head


State News

February 7, 2019 - 10:07 AM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s election victory suggested that Kansas repudiated past GOP fiscal policies, yet voters also encouraged top Republicans to pursue income tax relief by giving conservatives more power in the Legislature.

The contradiction is driving a political clash coming to a head quickly. The Republican-dominated state Senate gave first-round approval Wednesday to a tax bill and planned to take another, final vote today to determine whether it moves to the GOP-controlled House. The proposal is designed to keep Kansas residents and businesses from paying higher income taxes to the state because of changes in federal tax laws at the end of 2017.

Providing the tax relief would threaten Kelly’s agenda of boosting spending on public schools, expanding state Medicaid health coverage for the needy and rebuilding parts of state government she believes fell into disrepair under GOP governors. Earlier this week, she called the tax bill a “redo” of failed fiscal policies.

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