Committees & Discussion But Little Action Today

May 14, 2015 by

Very little action Under the Dome Today. Two committees in which we have interest did meet. After reviewing a variety of items within the Kansas Legislative Staff’s omnibus memo reports, the Senate Ways and Means committee chaired by Senator Ty Masterson had only a few moments of note.  Thirty million dollars in House appropriations for districts to make up for lower property appraisals was rejected after a motion by Senator Denning was passed by the committee.  Further consideration on those appropriations now moves to a conference committee.  Senator Fitzgerald questioned the availability of excess state resources and inquired if they could be used to help close a budget gap.

The Senate Assessment and Tax Committee met to develop a tax bill and send it to the floor of the Senate. The original bill included 13 points of revenue which included increasing the sales tax, liquor tax, dropping the Homestead Exemption, increasing the fuel tax among other taxes. The committee began amending the bill by taking out the increase in liquor taxes which passed. Senator Melcher then proposed amending SB 302 into the senate tax bill which would increase property tax for farmers and ranchers. That amendment failed. Another failed amendment by Senator Melcher would have instituted a sales tax on the sale of farm equipment. Time was running out for the committee because the Senate was due on the floor and the bill was still being debated in committee. Lastly, Senator Holland proposed an amendment to take out the increase in sales tax. That amendment passed. At this point Chairman Donovan said that “he could see where this bill was going.” He adjourned the committee meeting with no bill passing out. 

In the House of Representatives, there were no general orders today and no action was taken on their tax bill SB 270.

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