WICHITA, Kansas – Senators are preparing to reach across the aisle once the legislative session begins again, this time hoping to pass some legislation that could help ease some of the pain on your wallet.
It’s a sound we all know, and as prices rise, officials are trying to ease some of the financial burden on Kansans when they hit the grocery store.
“We understand that this isn’t going to be an issue that we’re going to be to able to solve overnight but more something that we need to start working towards,” said Senator Michael O’Donnell.
While research is still being done to determine the best way to go about making those changes, members of both parties have come to the table in support of the idea.
Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau is just one democrat partnering with O’Donnell.
“We’re all gonna go to the grocery store, we all need to buy food and this is just gonna benefit all of us in the state of Kansas,” said Faust-Goudaeu. “Yeah, and it’s not a partisan issues, it’s not a republican or democrat issue, every Kansan is going to benefit from elimination or reduction of sales tax on food because every Kansan eats, whether you’re a billionaire or part of the working poor or someone on a fixed income.”
But with a budget that’s already expected to hit a $260 million deficit by July of 2016, it could be a lofty goal to accomplish.
Eliminating the tax on food could put a nearly $400 million hole in the budget; however O’Donnell said with proper planning, it can happen and everyone can win.
“This is going to be a gradual step program where we’re gonna just wean ourselves off of that so it doesn’t have a shellshock to the state budget which would then impact Medicaid or education or infrastructure,” said O’Donnell.
O’Donnell said it’s too early to determine how that shortfall would be compensated, if it means other taxes are raised or if other programs would be cut.