The Kansas Legislature adjourned for the 2018 session on Friday afternoon, but not without some late-day drama on a tax bill that would have allowed for people to take the standard deduction on their federal taxes while itemizing on their state taxes.
With the bill deadlocked at 59-59, a Call Of The House was put on, which is a procedural maneuver to get anyone who is absent to be compelled to come back and vote. After 45 minutes, it was clear that even if all of the potential yes votes were brought back from across the state, the bill was not likely to get to 63 votes for passage. The call was raised and the bill died there.
The next question is, will the House and Senate have to come back for a special session on school funding? The official filing for oral argument in the latest phase of the Gannon school funding case was released on Friday, as well, with those arguments scheduled for 9 a.m. on May 22.
In her explanation of vote against the bill, Representative Melissa Rooker cited the ongoing litigation as a reason not to support the decoupling of the tax code.
“I fear that arguing $525 million over five years is our best effort, while simultaneously cutting revenues is, once again, completely illogical,” Rooker said.
No one knows whether the Court will see the latest school funding fix as a good faith effort or not, but now that the Legislature is officially out, the campaigns can begin for those House members that must run for reelection and raise money to do so.