Kansas Lawmakers May Miss Their Deadline To Finish Session

May 9, 2013

Kansas lawmakers just returned to the Statehouse on Wednesday, but already it looks like a disagreement on taxes could push the session past lawmakers' 80-day deadline.

House and Senate Republicans disagree on whether to extend a temporary sales tax increase. It's set to expire on July 1, and House leaders want to let it end as planned. Republican leaders in both chambers want to lower income tax rates, and Senators say keeping the sales tax elevated allows the state to lower income tax rates more quickly.

Senate leaders said Wednesday that they probably won't have an agreement before the weekend, and they're unlikely to work through the weekend because of graduation celebrations and Mother's Day. That means they'll be back next week and could miss the 80-day deadline.

Senate President Susan Wagle, a Republican from Wichita, says, "We are all negotiating. They've thrown out options, we've thrown out options, and we're looking at eight years out."

Sen. Wagle, a Wichita Republican, says lawmakers are trying to create a long-term tax plan.

"We want a tax plan that...we can bank on for a number of years without changes. "

Legislators chose to shorten the session this year from the normal 90 days. To meet the 80-day mark, they'd have to be done early next week.