The Kansas Senate has approved a plan to raise $423 million in revenue next fiscal year. The bill barely cleared the chamber yesterday. It increases the state sales tax by 2/5 of a percent and the tax on a pack of cigarettes by 50 cents. The proposal also raises taxes on business owners by $24 million. Governor Brownback had threatened to veto any plan that had a bigger business tax increase than that.
It’s business as usual in state agencies and universities today after the governor signed a weekend bill that blocks furloughs for state workers. The proposal unanimously passed both chambers of the legislature Saturday, declaring all state workers essential, and in essence, blocking furloughs for any of them as a result of the budget decision. Governor Brownback did sign the bill, but also told the legislature at the time to get in gear.