- Associated Press - Sunday, June 4, 2017

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Latest on the Kansas Legislature’s debate over raising taxes to fix the state budget and provide extra money to public schools (all times local):

7:52 p.m.

Majority Leader Don Hineman says the Kansas House is postponing its debate on a plan that would increase income taxes and boost state spending on public schools.

The Dighton Republican told The Associated Press that the measure was still being drafted and would not be ready in time for a Sunday night debate.

The plan would raise more than $1 billion over two years by increasing income taxes. It also would phase in a $285 million increase in spending on public schools over two years.

Republican negotiators for the House and Senate tied the two measures together to increase the chances of the tax increase passing.

Kansas faces projected budget shortfalls totaling $889 million through June 2019, and the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in March that education funding is inadequate.

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6:44 p.m.

Republican lawmakers have cleared the way for vote in the Kansas House on a plan that would increase income taxes and boost state spending on public schools.

The House expected to vote Sunday night on a plan that would raise more than $1 billion over two years by increasing income taxes. The same measure would phase in a $285 million increase in spending on public schools over two years.

Republican negotiators for the House and Senate tied the two measures together to increase the chances of the tax increase passing.

Democrats strongly objected. The Legislature’s rules allowed them force votes in both chambers on whether the package could be considered.

But the votes to move forward with the package were 72-49 in the House and 25-14 in the Senate.

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5:06 p.m.

Kansas legislators are tying a plan to increase income taxes to another measure that would increase spending on public schools.

Republican negotiators for the House and Senate agreed Sunday on a plan for raising more than $1 billion over two years by increasing income taxes. The negotiators agreed on another plan to phase in a $285 million school funding increase over two years.

GOP negotiators agreed to put both plans into a single bill. The House planned to vote on the package Sunday night. Democrats opposed the tactic.

GOP leaders believe the tax increase has a better chance of passing if it is tied to school funding.

Kansas faces budget shortfalls totaling $889 million through June 2019, and the state Supreme Court ruled in March that education funding is inadequate.

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3:25 p.m.

A top Republican in the Kansas Senate says he’s open to a new plan from other GOP lawmakers for raising taxes to fix the state budget and boost spending on public schools.

Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning of Overland Park said Sunday that he is willing to consider a proposal to combine the new tax plan with a school funding plan in a single bill if it will help the tax plan pass.

House Majority Leader Don Hineman of Dighton suggested the move after outlining a proposal to raise more than $1 billion over two years by increasing income taxes.

The move would be highly unusual. Lawmakers usually separate tax measures from spending and policy proposals.

But GOP leaders in the House have struggled to build support for tax proposals.

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2:30 p.m.

Top Republican legislators in Kansas have a new plan to raise income taxes to fix the state budget and provide additional dollars to public schools.

House Majority Leader Don Hineman of Dighton outlined the proposal Sunday during a meeting of House Republicans.

The plan would raise more than $1 billion over two years by increasing income tax rates and ending an exemption for 330,000-plus farmers and business owners. It rolls back past income tax cuts championed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

Hineman said GOP leaders may try to put the tax plan and a measure for increasing spending on public schools into a single, big bill.

Kansas faces budget shortfalls totaling $889 million through June 2019, and the state Supreme Court ruled in March that education funding is inadequate.

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