Capitol Update: The tax reform bill is headed to the governor’s desk — what happens next?

Rep. Stephanie Clayton.
Rep. Stephanie Clayton.

Each legislative session, we provide northeast Johnson County’s elected officials with the chance to share their thoughts about what’s happening in the state capitol. Rep. Stephanie Clayton submits this week’s update:

Last week, the House and the Senate passed Sub HB 2178, an income tax reform bill. I was proud to vote in support of this legislation. This bill makes several adjustments to our current income tax policy, including:

  • Repealing the so-called LLC Loophole, effective retroactively for tax year 2017
  • Removing the “trigger mechanism”, or ratchet, that steps down income tax rates to zero
  • Restoring medical tax deductions

Here is a table, courtesy of the Legislative Research Department, that explains income tax brackets, past and present, provided Sub HB 2178 became law:

Chart

Note that this is only put into place if the bill becomes law. Both the House and the Senate passed the bill with no amendments, which then sends the bill to the Governor. At the time of this column’s writing, the bill is on its way to the Governor, but has not yet officially arrived. Once the bill does arrive, the Governor has three options:

  • To sign the bill into law
  • To veto the bill
  • To allow the bill to become law without his signature

If the Governor vetoes the bill, the legislature has the opportunity to override his veto, which would take a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers. It remains to be seen if the votes to do this are available, but the possibility remains.

Also possible, although not often discussed, is that the bill becomes law without his signature. Once the bill arrives on the Governor’s desk, he has ten calendar days to either sign it, veto it, or do nothing. If he has done nothing by the time the ten day period has passed, the bill then becomes law.

Many are curious about the status of what is referred to as “Campus Carry Repeal”. Current law allows public institutions, including public college campuses, to determine if they will allow concealed weapons in their buildings. Current policies expire on July 1. Two bills were introduced that would keep current law in place. One bill was defeated in Senate Committee, the other bill is currently in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, having not yet been brought for debate by the Chair. Another bill that would have only affected the University of Kansas Medical Center campus was defeated in the same House committee by an 11-11 vote. In the event of a tie, if the Chair does not cast a deciding vote, the bill is defeated, and in this case, the Chair chose not to cast a vote.

At first glance, this looks discouraging, but, rest assured, the northeast Johnson County delegation has heard you, and will continue to work to prevent this dangerous policy from becoming law. The legislative process affords many opportunities for good policy to pass, and much time remains in the session. I have been proud and honored to be at the forefront of this effort.

I enjoy hearing from you! You can follow me on facebook or twitter (@sscjocoks), or e-mail me at stephanie.clayton@house.ks.gov. I’ll also host my monthly legislative coffee at Foo’s Café this Saturday morning at 10 a.m.