Kansas lawmakers adjourn session, await ruling on schools

Kansas legislature (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators have adjourned their annual session and are waiting for a state Supreme Court ruling on education funding later this summer.

The House and Senate met briefly Monday to formally end the session weeks after passing an income tax increase and a plan to boost spending on public schools.

The Supreme Court plans to hear arguments from attorneys July 18 on whether the new school funding law is adequate under the state constitution. It phases in a $293 million increase in education funding over two years.

Some lawmakers believe the court will rule that the funding increase isn’t large enough and force legislators to return for a special session.

But Kansas Association of School Boards officials praised the new school finance law Monday as a good start.

Governor Sam Brownback issued the following statement following the session:

“This legislative session made history, but for all the wrong reasons. Passing the largest tax hike in state history, this legislature passed the biggest budget in state history—and they’ve already spent every dime.

“The legislature—despite borrowing and delaying payments—chose to spend over $200 million in new spending on top of increased funding for schools. This budget pays for a legislative wish list on the backs of working Kansans.

“This session marks a drastic departure from fiscal restraint. I trust that future legislatures will return to a pro-growth orientation that will once again set Kansas on the path toward becoming the best state in America to raise a family and grow a business.”

The Governor signed 102 bills into law this sesion, vetoed four and allowed one to become law without his signature.