House Speaker Hawkins responds to dates for Special Session

Kansas House Speaker Dan Hawkins responded to Governor Laura Kelly calling a special session set for June 18. According to Hawkins, the special session would cost Kansas $84,000 per day.

“The sad reality is this $84,000-plus a day special session could have been completely avoided because the Legislature already delivered a bipartisan, sustainable tax relief plan that was fully vetted by our highly qualified legislative tax committees,” Hawkins said in a release.

The House overwhelmingly passed a tax relief bill, and the Kansas Senate also passed the bill late in the regular session, and Kelly waited until the session ended to veto the bill, her third tax relief veto since February.

The House previously voted to override the veto, but the Senate came up a vote short.

But the new bill appeared to have the votes to override a veto if the Legislature would have been in session.

“Instead, the Kelly/Toland Administration chose to play election-year political games, opting to continue to move the goalposts and refuse to compromise all at Kansas taxpayers’ expense,” Hawkins stated. “We’ve been attempting to compromise with the Governor’s office all year, so I’m hopeful that she’s finally feeling the pressure to put an end to this and join the overwhelming majority of legislators who are ready to deliver tax relief to all Kansans.”

The Legislature will likely pass either the same bill or one very similar to the bill passed at the end of the session and see if Kelly will sign it. If not, the Legislature will have to vote to override another veto.

Each day that passes will continue to rack up additional operational expense.

Kelly continues to insist on multiple tax brackets even though the Legislature wants to simplify the number of brackets to two with bipartisan support. The previous bill passed the House 108-11 and the Senate 25-9.

Kansas currently has a $3 billion surplus, and lawmakers are trying to use some of that to fund tax relief.

Editor | watt@kaninfo.com

Earl Watt is the owner and publisher of the Leader & Times in Liberal, Kansas. Watt started his career in journalism in 1991 at the Southwest Daily Times. During his career, the newspaper has won a total of 17 Sweepstakes awards from the Kansas Press Association for editorial content and 18 Sweepstakes awards for advertising. Watt has been recognized with more than 70 first place awards for writing in categories from sports and column to best front pages, best sports pages and best opinion pages. Watt is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and is the descendant of several patriots who fought for America's freedom and independence.