Check this spot on Sundays for a few quick hits about what’s driving the debate in the Legislature.
"I need this bill passed so we can get rid of public sector unions."
– Kansas Chamber of Commerce lobbyist Eric Stafford during a heated exchange about a bill that would keep public unions from deducting money from members’ paychecks for political activity. Stafford later backed off the comment, saying he was frustrated. Democrats and unions say it showed the chamber’s true agenda.
That’s the average value of the real estate tax deduction claimed by roughly 372,000 Kansans. The deduction would be erased to help pay for income tax cuts under Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax proposal. That comes in addition to elimination of the mortgage tax interest deduction, which is drawing strong opposition from real estate agents.
Brownback’s tax proposal appeared to be trending downward as more Republicans voiced concerns about continuing a temporary sales tax many of them strongly opposed, in addition to eliminating mortgage and real estate tax deductions.
Hearings on the governor’s tax plan will likely steal the spotlight for much of the week. But the House may debate and vote on a bill preventing public unions from allowing their members to voluntarily have money deducted from their paychecks to fund activities favoring candidates, bond issues or other ballot initiatives.
For more legislative news, go to www.kansas.com/politics and follow @BrentWistrom on Twitter.