Kansas lawmakers override vetoes on taxes, guns, elections

Kansas lawmakers override vetoes on taxes, guns, elections

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican lawmakers on Monday cut Kansas’ income taxes, lowered the age for carrying a concealed gun and tightened state election laws by overriding Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s vetoes of those measures. A series of votes in the GOP-controlled Legislature demonstrated that its Republican supermajorities can control policy — and push the state back to the right — if they hold together. Centrist and left-of-center activists took Kelly’s election in 2018 as a sign that voters were repudiating conservative management of state government, but elections in 2020 moved the Legislature to the right. “They listened to folks back home,” House Speaker Tem Blaine Finch, an Ottawa Republican, said of GOP lawmakers. “It’s because of, really, the grassroots in their communities telling (them), ‘Hey, this is important to us.’” But Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes, a Lenexa Democrat, derided the “veto override-a-rama.” “Today leaves no doubt: The Kansas Legislature is more extreme than ever,” she said in a statement. Republican leaders realized their goal of tax relief for individuals and businesses that have been paying more in state income taxes because of changes in federal tax laws at the end of 2017. The measure will save Kansas taxpayers about $284 million over three years. The vote to override Kelly’s veto was 30-10 in the Senate, giving GOP leaders three votes more than the two-thirds majority needed. The House vote was 84-39, the exact number of required yes votes. A key change will allow people to claim itemized […]

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