Honoring her promise to pursue commonsense, bipartisan reform of the Kansas tax code, Governor Laura Kelly today announced the appointment of two former state senators to serve as co-chairs of the new Governor’s Council on Tax Reform.

Kelly selected Steve Morris of Hugoton and Janis Lee of Kensington to lead the Governor’s Council on Tax Reform, charged with thorough review of the state’s tax code and recommendations for a more fiscally responsible and fair tax structure.

Morris, a moderate Republican, served 20 years in the Kansas Senate, including eight years as Senate president. During Lee’s 22 years in the state Senate, she was a longtime ranking Democrat on the Senate Tax Committee. She also is a former chief hearing officer for the Kansas Court of Tax Appeals.

Kelly served with Morris and Lee in the state Senate, and said their experience and bipartisan approach would be instrumental as the new Council on Tax Reform moves forward in pursuit of sound tax policy.

“The people of Kansas elected me to bring fiscally conservative and responsible principles back to our government,” Kelly said. “To that end, I expect the Council on Tax Reform to thoughtfully evaluate tax policy and recommend prudent, sustainable changes for the future.

“I know Steve and Janis share my desire to keep the state tax burden as low as possible. They also understand how important it is to ensure that our tax code supports public investment in areas such as education, public safety and infrastructure needed to help Kansas prosper.

“While it’s necessary to proceed with caution due to economic uncertainty, it’s also time to begin the conversation on tax reform that’s beneficial for families and businesses alike,” the governor said. “We can and should build a sensible tax system that benefits Kansans who need it most, and ultimately all Kansans.”

Kelly plans to issue an executive order establishing and announcing the full membership of the Governor’s Council on Tax Reform, and detailing the full scope of work involved in the coming weeks.