The Kansas Senate has voted to expand a program aimed at stopping population loss in rural Kansas counties. Some counties with declining populations have been designated as so-called Rural Opportunity Zones. The program helps repay student loans and offers income tax credits to attract people to those counties.
Senator Les Donovan, a Republican from Wichita, says the program has helped rural areas.
“These are counties that are small population and losing population. This tends to stabilize their population a great deal,” says Donovan.
A select group of lawmakers from the Kansas House and Senate started negotiations on tax legislation today. The conference committee will work to find a compromise between bills that passed the two chambers.
The bills have one large difference. The Senate version makes a temporary sales tax permanent to help offset the costs of income tax cuts. The House version allows the sales tax to expire as planned later this year, and introduces additional income tax reductions more slowly.
Senator Les Donovan, a Wichita Republican, says extending the sales tax is critical.
A Senate Committee has delayed work on Governor Sam Brownback's tax proposal. A printing mix-up meant the scheduled debate was left off the official Senate calendar, but the committee's chairman says he didn't want to work on the tax plan without letting the public know about it.
The committee was scheduled to debate the bill and offer amendments. In Statehouse lingo, that’s called “working” the bill. Wichita Republican Les Donovan chairs the Senate Tax Committee. He says they’ll benefit from the extra time to prepare.