- Associated Press - Monday, June 5, 2017

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

12:45 a.m.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback says an income tax increase approved by Kansas lawmakers to fix the state budget would damage the state’s economy.

Brownback issued a statement early Tuesday morning promising to veto the measure. Supporters of the bill did not have the two-thirds majority necessary in either chamber to override a veto.

The bill would raise $1.2 billion over two years by raising income tax rates and ending an exemption or 330,000-plus farmers and business owners. It rolls back past income tax cuts championed by Brownback as pro-growth policies.

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

Brownback said the income tax increase would hurt job creation.

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12:25 a.m. Tuesday.

Kansas legislators approved a bill rolling back past income tax cuts championed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback to fix the state budget and provide additional money for public schools.

The measure approved early Tuesday morning would raise $1.2 billion over two years by increasing income tax rates and ending an exemption for 330,000-plus farmers and business owners. The votes were 26-14 in the Senate and 69-52 in the House.

Brownback announced immediately that he would veto the bill. Supporters were short of the two-thirds majorities in both chambers necessary to override a veto.

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

(This item has been corrected to show that the bill won final approval early Tuesday morning, not Monday night.)

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9:40 p.m.

The Kansas House has approved a plan for increasing income taxes to fix the state budget and provide additional money for public schools.

The vote Monday night was 69-52 on a bill that would raise $1.2 billion over two years by increasing income tax rates and ending an exemption for 330,000-plus farmers and business owners. It largely rolls back past income tax cuts championed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

The bill goes next to the Senate. Approval there would send the measure to Brownback. He has not said whether he would veto it but rejected a smaller income tax increase in February.

Kansas faces projected 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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9:37 p.m.

Kansas legislators have approved a bill that would phase in a $293 million increase in state spending on public schools over two years.

The measure goes to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

The Senate passed the bill on a 23-17 vote Monday night after the House approved it, 67-55.

The bill is a response to a Kansas Supreme Court ruling in March that the state’s education funding is inadequate. Kansas now spends about $4 billion a year on aid to its 286 school districts.

The court did not say in its ruling how much spending must increase in telling lawmakers to pass a new school finance law by June 30. Attorneys for the four school districts that successfully sued the state have said the spending increase must be much larger.

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7:05 p.m.

The Kansas House has approved a bill that would phase in a $293 million increase in state spending on public schools over two years.

The 67-55 vote Monday night sent the measure to the Senate. Its approval would send the bill to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

The bill is a response to a Kansas Supreme Court ruling in March that the state’s education funding is inadequate. Kansas now spends about $4 billion a year on aid to its 286 school districts.

The court did not say in its ruling how much spending must increase in setting a June 30 deadline for lawmakers to pass a new school finance law. Attorneys for the four school districts that successfully sued the state have said the increase in spending must be much larger.

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5:19 p.m.

Kansas legislators have drafted a new proposal that would increase personal income taxes to raise $1.2 billion over two years.

House and Senate negotiators agreed Monday evening on a measure that would raise income tax rates and eliminate an exemption for 330,000-plus farmers and business owners. It largely rolls back past tax cuts championed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

The plan is a larger than one rejected by the House earlier Monday when the tax hike was tied to a school funding increase. Kansas faces budget shortfalls totaling $889 through July 2019.

The House expected to vote on the new plan first.

The measure would create a third income tax rate for the state’s highest earners and set it at 5.7 percent. The current top rate is 4.6 percent.

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3:56 p.m.

Kansas legislators have separated a plan to boost spending on public schools from a proposed income tax increase in hopes of passing the education proposal more quickly.

House and Senate negotiators agreed Monday afternoon on the details of a plan to phase in a $293 million increase in education funding over two years. It’s a response to a Kansas Supreme Court ruling in March that the state’s $4 billion a year in aid to its 286 school districts is inadequate.

Republican leaders had tied the same school funding plan to a proposal to increase income taxes to raise more than $1 billion over two years to help fix the state budget.

Many lawmakers didn’t like bundling the two big proposals together. The House voted 91-32 to reject the combined package.

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2:26 p.m.

The Kansas House has rejected a bill that would have raised income taxes and increased spending on public schools.

The vote Monday was 91-32 against a bill that would have raised more than $1 billion over two years with higher taxes. The measure also would have phased in a $293 million increase in aid to public schools over two years.

Republican leaders tied tax and school funding measures together in a single bill to make it easier to pass a tax increase. But Democrats and many Republicans objected to the tactic.

Legislative researchers also projected that the bill might not quite close projected budget shortfalls totaling $889 million through June 2019.

The spending increase was a response to a Kansas Supreme Court ruling in March that education funding is inadequate.

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11:23 a.m.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback isn’t saying whether he would sign or veto a bill that would raise income taxes and increase spending on public schools.

Brownback told reporters Monday that he wants to maintain pro-growth tax policies even as Kansas raises new revenues to fix its budget and provide extra money to schools. But he wouldn’t say what he would do if a bill backed by Republican leaders reaches his desk.

The plan would increase raise more than $1 billion in new revenue over two years by increasing income taxes. The measure also phases in a $293 million education funding increase over two years.

Kansas faces projected 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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9:28 a.m.

Kansas legislators have a new, larger estimate for how much a plan drafted by Republican lawmakers would increase spending on public schools.

The State Department of Education projected Monday that the plan would phase in a $293 million increase over two years. The previous estimate was $285 million.

The plan ties the funding increase to another measure that would increase income taxes to raise more than $1 billion over two years to also help fix the budget. The House planned to vote by Monday afternoon on a single bill with the package.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in March that education funding is inadequate and gave lawmakers until June 30 to pass a new school finance law. Critics say the plan would not boost spending enough to satisfy the court.

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5:49 a.m.

Kansas legislators are preparing to vote on a bill that ties an increase in income taxes to a plan for boosting spending on public schools.

Republican lawmakers pushing the plan Monday hoped it would settle the Legislature’s two biggest issues in a single package. A few critics likened the unusual legislative hybrid to Frankenstein’s monster.

The House was to debate the bill first Monday morning.

The measure raises more than $1 billion over two years by raising income tax rates and ending an exemption for 330,000-plus farmers and business owners. It also phases in a $285 million increase in education funding over two years.

Kansas faces projected 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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