The Legislature’s vote to increase income tax rates was a sharp rebuke to one of Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature policies while in office.
Brownback blasted the legislative vote to override his veto as “bad for Kansas.”
But what about the possible next governor of the Sunflower State?
Brownback is in his second and last term. Several candidates of both major parties are already running or considering running to replace him in 2019.
Here’s what they had to say about Tuesday night’s vote.
The former Wichita mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate congratulated lawmakers for overriding the governor’s veto of a “2017 tax plan.”
“This is only the first step in getting the state of Kansas back on track to fiscal responsibility and responsible budgeting,” he wrote on Twitter.
He wrote that it would take new leadership to fund education, public safety, roads, the state employees’ retirement system “and services damaged by Brownback.”
The Wichita businessman running as a Republican for governor said the tax increases weren’t the “right solution for Kansas families.”
“Aside from raising taxes retroactively on every Kansan, it failed to address the two core problems with the career politicians in Topeka – out-of-control wasteful spending and no plan to grow our economy,” he wrote in a statement on his campaign website.
Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is considering a run, said Kansans “do not want their income taxes increased.”
“The legislators who voted for this obscene tax increase have failed in their obligation to represent their constituents,” he wrote on Twitter.
He also said legislators were “clearly doing something wrong” after U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont celebrated the Kansas vote.
Wichita Democrat Jim Ward, who is House minority leader and is considering a run for governor, called Kansas voters “the best” after the override attempt was successful in the House.
“I’m pleased we’ve started the process of restoring our state to fiscal responsibility,” he wrote on Twitter.
Ed O’Malley, a Republican who is weighing a run for governor, posted on Twitter on Wednesday morning about “big things for Kansas” but did not refer to the override vote or policy implications directly.
“I am thankful for the legislators, staff, advocates (and) others who engaged so passionately,” he wrote. “We have to try things, but we also need to know … when to move on, take the learnings (and) try something new.”