On a vote of 22-18 Friday morning, the Kansas Senate approved a House bill that effectively undoes the central parts of the controversial tax cut package Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law in 2012.
Since the passage of the tax cuts, Kansas has faced persistent budget issues, missing revenue estimates by hundreds of millions of dollars and grappling with how to close budget holes.
The governor and his supporters have pointed to global economic forces that have reduced expected revenues from the agriculture, energy and aviation industries as the main culprits behind the budget troubles, and pointed to trends like an increase in the creation of new companies that they say would not have occurred without the favorable business environment the cuts provided. Brownback has even recently called on President Donald Trump to follow Kansas’s path in cutting taxes.
But opponents say the tax cuts are the obvious cause of the budget troubles, with legislators from both parties campaigning ahead of the November election on a promise to restore a tax structure similar to that present before the 2012 cuts.
Now, the Governor has to make a decision about what to do when HB 2178 lands on his desk. Should he sign it into law? Should he veto it? (If so, it’s possible that the legislature could override his veto). Should he allow it to become law without his signature? What do you hope the governor does? Why?