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May 29, 2013

Kansas House adjourns 15 minutes after it starts

Day 96 of the legislative session ended for the House of Representatives on Wednesday 15 minutes after it began, following a quick series of votes to send a rejected tax bill back to committee for more work.

Day 96 of the legislative session ended for the House of Representatives on Wednesday 15 minutes after it began, following a quick series of votes to send a rejected tax bill back to committee for more work.

By a 79-32 vote, the House approved a motion to reconsider House Substitute for Senate Bill 84, the tax plan it rejected Tuesday on a 71-42 vote.

House leaders made it clear the reconsideration was a technical move to preserve the bill as a vehicle for further negotiations and moments later, the House voted to send it back to a House-Senate conference committee for more work.

In its current form, the bill would set the state sales tax at 6 percent – below the current 6.3 but more than the 5.7 it will revert to on July 1 with the sunsetting of a recession-driven emergency sales tax passed three years ago. The bill also would cut income-tax rates while trimming deductions, including the standard deduction used by taxpayers who don’t itemize their tax returns.

After voting to return the bill to committee, the House adjourned until 10 a.m. Thursday. The tax conference committee will likely meet before then, but no meetings were immediately scheduled.

With nothing to do but wait for the committee and House, the Senate also adjourned until Thursday after a brief session.

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