Talk about fun and games: Over a three-hour period Tuesday, the Kansas Senate offered a stunning rebuke of Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax bill.
The members briefly debated and — fortunately — then killed his sloppy budget-balancing ideas on a 37-1 vote. That’s not a misprint. Even the ultra-conservatives who have stood by Brownback ever since they passed the financially disastrous income tax cuts in 2012 abandoned him.
The timeline for the debate started with low expectations. It ended with Senate President Susan Wagle driving a stake through Brownback’s plan on Twitter.
Brownback began it all shortly after 2:30 p.m. with a blast at Wagle and the Senate, offered through his communications director.
— Melika Willoughby (@MelikaMaria) March 7, 2017
The Senate debate on Brownback’s budget measure began around 3 p.m.
— Peter Hancock (@LJWpqhancock) March 7, 2017
Sen. Dinah Sykes of Johnson County weighed in accurately at 4:19 p.m.
Instead of actually trying to solve a problem we are wasting everyone's time.#ksleg
— Dinah Sykes (@dinah_sykes) March 7, 2017
Just before 4:30 p.m.
There are 5 parts of this. So far they've rejected 3 parts. Now a rules meeting on whether they can amend parts they already struck. #ksleg
— Stephen Koranda (@kprkoranda) March 7, 2017
And two hours after Brownback’s bill came to the Senate floor, this happened.
On a 37 to 1 vote the Kansas Senate votes to effectively kill the bill. #ksleg
— Hunter Woodall (@HunterMw) March 7, 2017
Wagle then crowed about the Brownback beat-down.
— Susan Wagle (@SenatorWagle) March 7, 2017
Thus ended that exercise in futility.
Kansas still hasn’t solved its $280 million budget deficit for this fiscal year ending June 30, nor wiped out the large projected deficit for the next fiscal year. Or come up with the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to better fund K-12 education in response to last week’s Kansas Supreme Court ruling.
Oh, well, the session doesn’t have to end until May. Or June. Or perhaps July.
The only constant here is that Brownback will not be a key player in getting anything done until he agrees to repeal his costly 2012 income tax cuts.