After five months of deliberation and debate we have made a historic turn toward correcting the structural imbalance in our state finances. Moderate and Conservative Republicans, and Democrats (88 votes in the house and 27 votes in the Senate) came together on Tuesday this week, finally deciding it had to be done. Speaker Ron Ryckman stated quite succinctly after the vote that it was simply “time to provide certainty for Kansas.”
Reaction to this historic shift was noted nationwide, with quotes from my colleagues featured in the Washington Post and New York Times to the Garden City Telegram, Shawnee Mission Post and Wichita Eagle:
While we are relieved and possibly even elated that we finally got the task accomplished, we should not be happy about raising anyone’s taxes. To be clear, we restored taxes to pay debts accumulated in prior legislative sessions; and, to fund education and KPERS. We are leaving behind the one-time fixes and the “borrow and spend” mentally that has dominated the narrative over the past five years.
It was an exhausting and yet exhilarating few days with both chambers spending days debating and killing other plans, only to return to this one (SB 30), the same plan we killed last week (which I also supported). After a week of bipartisan communication with many of our colleagues in the House we crafted a plan that would earn additional support.