Kansas Legislature’s lurch to center cuts governor’s clout

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas has seen its once-conservative Legislature lurch to the center with the flowering of a bipartisan coalition.

Democrats and moderate Republicans are bent on erasing much of Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax-cutting legacy and ready to bedevil other GOP leaders.

In a week’s time, the state House approved a huge increase in personal income taxes, voted to override Brownback’s veto and approved an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program.

Supporters of the tax bill couldn’t override the veto in the Senate but had a solid majority for undoing past, Brownback-inspired cuts in personal income taxes.

Voters turned on the term-limited governor last year, largely because the state’s budget has cratered. Two dozen allies lost seats.

Lawmakers of all stripes say the Legislature’s shift to the left is real.

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