A pair of Kansas lawmakers took to Twitter to continue the debate over differing votes on a tax bill in the Kansas House.
A divided House rejected a Senate approved bill that would have increased income taxes on most Kansans and rolled back an LLC tax incentive for farmers and business owners. The bill would have added $1.2 billion in new revenues, erasing most of the 2012 tax reforms. On initial vote, a tied 59-59 vote failed the legislation in the House. After several lawmakers changed their votes, the bill died 37-85.
House Minority Leader Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat, switched his vote after it was apparent the legislation was doomed. He explained his vote to Hawver’s Capitol Report (subscription required).
Ward told the newsletter that new moderate Republicans abandoned Democrats on the tax vote, putting the burden of raising taxes on lower income Kansans.
Rep. Tom Cox, a Shawnee Republican, didn’t take kindly to the suggestion that moderate Republicans killed the bill. Cox voted to raise taxes.
“Jim Ward’s attack on mods to defend himself voting to kill a tax bill,” Cox tweeted. “He’s running for Gov, not trying to solve problems. Shame.”
Ward tweeted back that he understood Cox’s frustration.
Understand there's a lot of frustration. I share it. Our goal is same: improve policies that impact Kansans. #ksleg 1/2
— Jim Ward (@RepJimWard) May 31, 2017
Other Kansas Democrats jumped into the thread. Rep. Brett Parker, an Overland Park Democrat, asked Cox why he didn’t express similar outrage when only 47 representatives voted for a Democratic school funding plan earlier in the session.
The House and Senate are adjourned until tomorrow, but some of the fireworks continue on Twitter.