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Analysis: Kansas GOP lawmakers set up debate on higher taxes

Associated Press - March 22, 2015 11:57 am

Kansas has seen its once-conservative Legislature lurch to the center with the flowering of a bipartisan coalition.

Republicans who control the Kansas Legislature are boxing themselves into considering tax increases by drafting proposed budgets in both chambers that don’t balance without them.

GOP legislators have repeatedly said that the budget shortfall projected at nearly $600 million for the fiscal year beginning July 1 represents a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

But top Republican lawmakers are now anticipating general tax increases of more than $100 million a year.

The House and Senate expect to debate their committees’ proposed budgets this week and to pass a final spending blueprint for state government before lawmakers start their annual spring break on April 4.

They are set to return from their break on April 29 to finish the year’s business. Their wrap-up will be dominated by tax issues.