Kansas lawmakers return to Topeka Tuesday to dive back into the contentious debate over budget and tax bills.
State Representatives and Senators were quoted using words like “dumbfounded” to express frustration that they can’t agree on either a budget or tax bill. Lawmakers had planned to wrap up the legislative in 80-days instead of the mandated 90-days. Instead, the session has run long like it has in most recent years.
Lawmakers left for Memorial Day weekend after a House and Senate conference committee agreed on a 6 percent sales tax extension, less than Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback wanted but more than many conservative Republicans.
Barbara Bollier, a Mission Hills Republican, said anyone who says they know what to expect this week isn’t being honest.
“Botton Line is there are so many scenarios and there just isn’t a real clear picture now what’s going to happen, either tax or budget,” said Bollier. “It’s kind of a mess.”
The tax bill and budget are tied together. Until lawmakers agree on what do to about the sales tax, which was to expire in July, they won’t know how much revenue the state will have, making it impossible to plan a budget.