Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback suffered a major defeat on Wednesday after the Kansas House of Representatives voted to override his veto of the legislature’s tax hikes aimed at filling massive gaps in the state budget.
Jonathan Shorman, a reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal, reports that the Republican-controlled Kansas House voted to override Brownback’s veto by a margin of 85-40. The override measure will now move over to the Republican-controlled Kansas Senate.
The Kansas City Star notes that the tax hike legislation, passed by both the Kansas House and Senate this year, “would raise income tax rates and end a tax exemption for roughly 330,000 business owners.”
Kansas’s state budget has been in disarray ever since Brownback and the Kansas legislature slashed taxes starting in 2012, as revenue for the state has routinely fallen well short of projections.
This has led the government to make several unpopular budget cuts, including cuts to higher education, that have made even Republicans in the state willing to roll back some of the Brownback tax cuts.
Even as the political winds have shifted, however, Brownback has remained steadfast in his support for the tax cuts. According to the latest poll from Morning Consult, the Kansas governor’s approval rating stands at just 26 percent, making him the least popular governor in the United States.