Tax And School Funding “mega-bill” To Be Debated In Topeka

The Kansas House of Representatives is expected to debate what is being called a mega-bill today which ties sweeping tax reforms and higher funding for public schools into a single yes or no vote.

The latest attempt at sealing elusive deals on income tax and school finance emerged Sunday afternoon following three days of stop-and-go negotiations between the legislature’s two chambers, which each have passed their own versions of a K-12 funding bill.

Lawmakers will vote simultaneously on whether to increase state aid for schools by about $280 million while also doing away with some of Gov. Brownback’s signature tax policies approved by the legislature in 2012.

Any school finance or tax deal, or combination thereof, will need two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate should the governor choose to block it. Brownback vetoed a bill in February to roll back tax cuts, and an override attempt fell three votes short in the Senate.

After agreeing on Sunday to roll tax reforms into the school finance bill, Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning said that the proposal, which came from House leadership, aims to make the package less susceptible to the governor’s opposition.