GOP conservatives block Kansas House debate on bill raising taxes, slowing work on budget fix

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TOPEKA, Kansas — Conservative Republicans have blocked a Kansas House debate on a bill raising sales, cigarette and business taxes to close a state budget shortfall.

The measure on the House's agenda Thursday would have raised $400 million during the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Republicans who control the chamber said most of the bill's contents weren't likely to survive a debate. But GOP leaders wanted to pass a stripped-down version to clear the way for negotiations between the House and Senate on the final version of a tax bill.

The vote on allowing debate was 72-40, but GOP leaders needed a two-thirds majority of 84 votes in the 125-member chamber to go ahead.

Conservatives said the process GOP leaders were engineering would prevent conservatives from having much influence.

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