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Plan to make raising taxes harder in Kansas clears committee

Kansas lawmakers add pay raises for state workers to budget
Posted at 4:07 PM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 17:07:54-05

TOPEKA, Kan. — A proposal backed by conservatives to amend the Kansas Constitution to make it harder for lawmakers to increase taxes won a state Senate committee's approval Thursday.

The Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee's voice vote on the measure sends it to the full Senate for debate.

The measure would require two-thirds majorities in both chambers starting in July 2023 to pass any bill that would either increase a state tax or impose a new tax. Currently, only simple majorities are required.

Conservative lawmakers see the proposal as a way to limit the growth of state government. But Democratic state Sen. Tom Holland, of Baldwin City, called it "anti-democratic" and "dangerous."

Because supporters are seeking to revise the state constitution, their proposal needs two-thirds majorities in both chambers. If it clears the Republican-controlled Legislature, it would go on the ballot in the November election, when approval by a simple majority of voters would add the measure to the constitution.