KASB Daily Education Roundup, Thur. March 7

The Kansas House on Thursday advanced an approximately $200 million tax cut proposal on a mostly partisan 80-42 vote.

SB 22, opposed by Gov. Laura Kelly, KASB and numerous education groups, will be up for final action Friday in the House.

The votes in both the House and Senate (26-14) fall short of the two-thirds margins that would be needed to overturn a veto should the measure make it to Kelly’s desk and she veto it. The bill has received only support from Republicans. All Democrats and a handful of Republicans have voted against the legislation.

KASB opposes the bill, saying the reduction of revenue to the state would make it difficult to provide the inflation adjustment for schools cited by the Kansas Supreme Court and make needed investments in other areas of state services.

SB 22 would give corporations a significant tax break and allow taxpayers to itemize deductions for state income taxes regardless of whether taking the itemized or standard federal deduction. The House version of the bill includes committee amendments to reduce the state sales tax on food from 6.5 percent to 5.5 percent and levy sales taxes on some internet purchases.

In other education-related news, House K-12 Education Budget Committee Chair Kristey Williams, R-Augusta, said the committee will start next week working on a school finance proposal that will include measures that have been considered in the committee. The committee has held hearings on bills that would increase requirements for schools to stop bullying (HB 2257) and HB 2150, which would allow students who report being bullied or who report an alleged incident to receive vouchers to another public school or private school. KASB opposes HB 2150.

A short video on developments Thursday in the Statehouse can be seen here on the KASB Facebook page.

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