The Kansas House lacked the votes to hold an expected debate on taxes Thursday.
A motion to bring a tax bill to the floor required a two-thirds majority because it was not on the debate calendar. The House voted 72-40 in favor of bringing Senate Bill 29 to the floor for a vote, 12 votes short of the 84 needed to hold the debate.
SB 29 contains a provision controversial among Republicans that would put business owners back on the tax rolls. House leaders had planned to offer an amendment to strip that and other provisions from the bill.
The bill would have only then included a provision to grant amnesty from penalties to people who owe back taxes — which is estimated to bring in $30 million — and several popular provisions unrelated to tax policy.
The intention was to get the bill into conference so that Senate and House negotiators could work on crafting a final fix to the state’s $400 million budget hole.
However, in a GOP caucus meeting before the vote, several Republican lawmakers voiced objections to ceding that power to a conference committee of six lawmakers to decide tax policy for the rest of the 165-member Legislature.
Enough lawmakers voted against bringing the bill forward to ensure that debate on the bill and the amendment did not take place.
Lawmakers convened Thursday for the 98th day of their session, eight more than their leaders traditionally schedule. Each extra day in session costs the state a total of more than $40,000.
Resolution of budget and tax issues isn’t expected until at least the session’s 100th day. Only five sessions have lasted 100 days or more, according to legislative researchers. The longest in state history was in 2002, at 107 days.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Follow Bryan Lowry on Twitter: @BryanLowry3.