Check this spot on Sundays for a few quick hits about what’s driving the debate in the Legislature.
Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, upon learning Senate Republicans would not debate tax and spending bills as planned on Thursday
“You stated that it’s saved a lot of lives. Well, it’s killed a lot of lives too.”
Sen. Robert Olson, R-Olathe, on abortion. He was speaking to an opponent of a bill that would require that more information about a physician be provided to a woman before an abortion
That’s how much a Senate spending bill, SB 27, would cut from the Wichita school district from now through July 1.
There was some serious movement on taxes and spending last week. On Tuesday, Senate committees rapidly approved bills that would raise income taxes and cut $154 million from K-12 education and other agencies. A committee in the Kansas House, for its part, heard testimony on a bill proposed by a coalition of organizations that would repeal an income-tax exemption for some businesses, raise the motor fuel tax and lower the tax on some groceries.
Senate leaders prepared for a busy Thursday by clearing committee schedules and scheduling an early start to consider tax and spending bills. Instead, the Senate went into recess shortly after 8 a.m. so both parties could discuss strategy away from the Senate floor. Senate leaders then called off debate entirely. Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, said senators would use the weekend to “think about the structural deficit and talk to their constituents and come back with a fresh bit of air on Monday.”
There will be hearings Monday and Tuesday in the House Commerce Committee on proposed changes to Kansas liquor laws. Under HB 2282, grocery and convenience stores would be able to sell stronger alcohol under a new “wine and beer retailer’s license.” A group called Uncorked Kansas has pushed for those changes in past legislative sesssions. Groups opposed to the bill are already gearing up for a fight.
For more legislative news, go to www.kansas.com/politics.