Brownback administration pleased with O’Neal; others aren’t

Democratic and moderate GOP state lawmakers are still steaming over how House Speaker Mike O’Neal (in photo), R-Hutchinson, rammed through a tax-cut plan that could result in multibillion-dollar budget deficits. Rep. Sean Gatewood, D-Topeka, called O’Neal’s actions “completely undemocratic.” Rep. Geraldine Flaharty, D-Wichita, said that she’d been on the losing side many times in 17 years in the Legislature but this was the first time she’d ever been ashamed of the process. But the Brownback administration, which directed the House to pass the plan, is pleased with O’Neal. “We really appreciate that,” Steve Anderson, Brownback’s budget director, told O’Neal after the vote. “We’ll always remember it.”