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The Latest: Kansas Legislature passes big income tax hike

Associated Press - February 19, 2017 5:05 am

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

The Kansas Legislature has approved a big increase in personal income taxes to help balance the state budget in a move that defies Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

Senate approved a bill Friday that would generate more than $1 billion over two years. The vote was 22-18.

Senators acted the day after the House approved the measure, so the bill goes to Brownback. He has strongly criticized the bill and said he would not sign it, but he has so far stopped short of saying specifically that he would veto it.

The bill would abandon core tax-cutting policies Brownback championed in 2012 and 2013 to help close projected budget shortfalls totaling nearly $1.1 billion through June 2019.

Supporters did not have the two-thirds majorities necessary to override a possible veto.