|Last week marked the end of the 2018 legislative session in Topeka until the legislators return to the capitol on January 14, 2019.
After a full three days of negotiation, the Senate conference committee finalized a budget for the fiscal year 2018-2019. The legislature voted on the $7 billion budget, which would appropriate roughly $380 million more in the current fiscal year, and $700 million more than the previous year.
Session closed with the rejection of a major tax bill that would have offered income tax breaks for individual Kansans and multinational corporations. HB 2434 proposed transferring the state's anticipated windfall from federal tax reforms to the people of Kansas by increasing the state's standard income tax deduction by 25%. Estimates indicated that the state was poised to receive $137 million in the next fiscal year, $179 in the subsequent year, and $187 in the third. Voted on just before adjournment, the measure needed at least 63 votes to pass, but Republican leaders only managed to garner 59 'yes' votes. Debates over the actual size of the windfall and the state's budget deficit ultimately led to the bill's failure.