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Having it both ways is becoming a daily occurrence in the legislature.

After killing the Governor’s plan to give tax breaks to corporations and wealthy Kansans early on Wednesday a phone rang in the Senate republican leadership office with Gov. Sam Brownback on the other end of it and just about as quickly as they could the Kansas Senate made an about face and passed the $800M behemoth hours later.

The bill is now likely headed for a conference committee where bad news usually gets worse for working Kansans.

The Tax conference committee will likely do everything it can to preserve Governor Brownback’s tax breaks for corporations and wealthy Kansans.

Corporate earnings will be exempt from income taxes. Worker income won’t.

And with an $800M price tag, it will cost thousands of state employees their jobs, devastate human services, and set Kansas schools back decades.

Meanwhile over in the Kansas House two anti-worker bills passed, Republicans affirmed their belief that corporations are people, and employers were given the green light to discriminate when hiring.

The House passed Senate Bill 413 and Senate Bill 416 on party-line votes. SB 413 is

Karin Brownlee’s court-packing scheme and SB 416 combines attacks on Unemployment Insurance and workers owed wages by unscrupulous employers.

The House also defeated an amendment by Rep. Mike Slattery that would have established that in Kansas we understand that corporations are not people.

Surprisingly – or maybe unsurprisingly – most House Republicans weren’t willing to go that far. After all, they are busy handing out tax breaks to corporations while raising them on people with low incomes, so if anything corporations would be Super-People to many here.

Stan Frownfelter later offered an amendment that would have prevented employers from discriminating against potential new-hires based on them being unemployed or having bad credit.

Again on a largely party-line vote, employers were backed up by Republicans, and unemployed Kansans can expect to stay unemployed a bit longer.

None of these measures are headed to the Governor yet, but your legislators are coming home for the weekend and we thought you’d like to know that on their way out of town they:

- Cut taxes for corporations and wealthy Kansans

- Advanced Karin Brownlee’s court packing scheme

- Took steps towards delaying unemployment insurance

- declared that corporations are people

…and  let employers discriminate against job-seekers who are unemployed or have bad credit.

All in a day’s work for this crowd!

Originally posted to Colin Curtis on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 12:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Your Government at Work.

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