TOPEKA - As a result of the failed leadership of Gov. Sam Brownback, the 2012 legislative session is now in its 95th day. This afternoon Democrats called upon the Governor to clarify his priorities for Kansas and bring the longest veto session in state history to a close.

Every day the Legislature continues to meet costs the people of Kansas $63,000.  If Brownback waits the 13 more days to announce what action he plans to take on the “nuclear option” tax bill (Senate Sub HB 2117), he will have wasted $1.2 million of the taxpayers' money. 

“The Governor aggressively maneuvered this fiscally irresponsible tax plan through the Legislature; now he’s stalling in hopes of a better deal.  After five months debating this issue, time is up,” said Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley, Topeka.  “Kansans have adamantly rejected this proposal, which helps the rich get richer while decimating public education. It’s time for Gov. Brownback to make his intentions known.  Will he blow a $2.5 billion hole in the state budget? Or will he veto the bill, acknowledging that income tax cuts for the wealthiest Kansans and big businesses will send our state into a budget crisis?  Legislative progress is paralyzed until he comes clean.”

The Legislature has two constitutionally mandated tasks: to pass a budget and a redistricting map. Neither have been possible due to the Governor’s failed leadership.

After 17 rounds of negotiations with the Senate, the House ceased budget discussions yesterday because Gov. Brownback refuses to say if he intends to sign the tax bill en route to his desk. Legislators cannot approve a budget until they know if the state will be bleeding $800 million per year for a tax cut that benefits corporations and the wealthy. Even though negotiations are set to resume, it is still impossible to build a budget without a revenue projection.

“Gov. Brownback’s Washington-style politics have resulted in Washington-style gridlock,” said House Democratic Leader Paul Davis, Lawrence.  “The Legislature is stalled because Gov. Brownback is playing a game of political chicken. This is the moment for him to prove that he’s here to govern. The Governor needs to bring people together - even if it means he doesn’t get exactly what he wants.”

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Statewide Public Reaction to the Brownback Tax Plan

Recent Kansas Editorials and Op-Eds on Senate Sub HB 2117

Tax cut legislation will be the end of Kansas as we know it (Kansas City Star)

Brownback, speaker want to ignore deficit projections (Wichita Eagle)

Reckless and Irresponsible (Newton Kansan)

Don’t sign that bill, Sam! (Winfield Daily Courier)

Session mostly a mess (Wichita Eagle)

Bad bill (Hutchinson News)

Tax reform (Hays Daily News)

Unknown factors surround tax cuts (Pittsburg Morning Sun)

Brownback & allies bulldoze their way to tax cut (Kansas City Star)

DC politics come to roost in Kansas (Joe Aistrup)

Tax cut bill puts education at risk (South central Kansas school superintendents)