As the legislative session reconvenes, Democratic leaders said Tuesday that they would push for a resolution condemning a Republican legislator for remarks he made about undocumented immigrants. And they support a tax change to pump more revenue into state coffers.
But facing huge Republican majorities, Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka and House Minority Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence didn't predict the chances that their proposals would have during the session that reopens Wednesday.
Davis said the remarks of Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, are worthy of a vote of condemnation in the House.
“He has brought shame on the institution” of the Legislature, Davis said.
During a House committee meeting in March, Peck compared illegal immigrants to feral hogs and said perhaps the state should shoot them from helicopters. He later said he was joking and issued a two-sentence apology in a news release.
On the tax front, with legislators poised to make deep cuts in education and social services, Hensley said he would propose “de-coupling” the state tax system from federal tax cuts made in December.
Earlier this month, state revenue forecasters said the state would lose $53 million in the next fiscal year in likely tax revenue because of federal tax code changes.
The new federal tax provisions were made on business expensing, bonus depreciation, removal of limitations on itemized deductions for high-income taxpayers, and other tax credits.
“Our budget would be in the black but for the fact the feds made these tax changes,” Hensley said.
Democrats have proposed breaking off the state tax code from federal tax cuts in the past, but Republicans have rejected the idea.