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Kansas House Lawmakers Reject Bill Combining Taxes, School Funding

Stephen Koranda
Kansas Public Radio/File photo
A debate in the Kansas House earlier this session.

Members of the Kansas House have rejected a bill that combined a new school funding system and a tax increase.

The 91-32 vote on Monday split Republicans. Some conservatives opposed raising taxes. Other Republicans said the two big issues shouldn’t be tied together.

Democrats also opposed the bill, including Rep. Cindy Neighbor. She said the proposal would not balance the budget, meaning more deficits in the coming years.

“I guess I wonder how many times we want to continue to come in and look at this? This is not the answer,” Neighbor said.

Supporters of the plan said it was a grand bargain that could help end the session, which is now the second-longest in state history.

After a quick meeting with the Senate, the tax portion of the bill was stripped out and sent back to the house.

Representatives will vote on a measure that is very close to the same legislation they approved a couple of weeks ago.

It puts $184 million into education next year. Many believe that is not enough to satisfy the state Supreme Court.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Radio covering health, education and politics.
Sam covers education for KCUR and the Kansas News Service. Before joining the station in August 2014 he covered health and education for KCPT.