Now the real work begins.
While legislators should be commended for not raising taxes so far to fix the budget problems they created, the session isn't over yet and the real fight lies straight ahead. New budget numbers are due out today and let's just say it doesn't look pretty.
House Minority Leader Paul Davis has already called for a tax increase and you know Sebelius is just foaming at the mouth to get more money out of Kansan's pockets. No word yet if she plans on paying her share or not.
Tax increases virtually never happen during the regular session. No one wants that kind of scrutiny over a long period of time. No, tax increases come quickly in an attempt to push them through before constituents get word of it. Plus, a few days of bad coverage is nothing like going through House and Senate Committee hearings with day after day of coverage of a tax increase.
The focus on this issue I think will be in the Senate. So far some key moderate Republican's seem to be holding fast, including Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt. The question is whether or not that's just talk or if they will actually stand for something. Sen. President Morris and Vice President Vratil certainly aren't shy about raising taxes. Vratil basically blamed the budget problems on too few taxes a while back, rather than on the out of control spending legislators have authorized. I won't place a bet on which side will win out.
So while I appreciate all of the work that's been done so far to keep taxes from rising, it's time to tighten the belt and let the real work begin.