Kansas Democratic Leader Upset Over Private Talks On Taxes

By: AP/WIBW (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: AP/WIBW (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP/WIBW) _ A top Kansas Democrat is criticizing Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and GOP legislative leaders for holding private talks to resolve tax issues.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis says discussions of tax issues should occur during public meetings of negotiators appointed by House and Senate leaders to resolve the chambers' differences.

Davis, of Lawrence, issued a statement Monday saying the Republicans' private talks ``betray democracy'' and deny the public chance to weigh in.

Brownback has been meeting with Senate President Susan Wagle and House Speaker Ray Merrick about cutting income taxes and canceling some or all of a sales tax decrease scheduled by law to take effect in July.

Asked if he was concerned the public wouldn't have time to informed on whatever developed from the talks, Brownback said he feels the "moving parts" up for discussion are well-known. He says he has heard from the public on how they feel about them. He says the public is aware of the key points and what remains is how lawmakers can fit them together to from a budget and a "pro-growth tax position."

Wagle said such private talks are common on big issues.

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