- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Senate has approved a proposal from its top Democrat to decrease the state’s sales tax on food to 5.7 percent from 6.15 percent.

Senate Minority Leader and Topeka Democrat Anthony Hensley offered the proposal Wednesday during a debate on a plan for raising taxes to close a projected $406 million budget shortfall for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The Senate approved Hensley’s amendment 27-10 before continuing debate on the plan.

The plan was advanced by Republicans and would increase the sales tax on most items to 6.5 percent from 6.15 percent.

Critics say the move would hurt poor families, so GOP senators proposed dropping the rate on food to 6 percent.

Hensley’s deeper cut saves consumers an additional $27 million in the next fiscal year.

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