Kansas headed toward debating tax increase again for schools

School funding (KSN graphic)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas legislators are headed toward considering their second big tax increase within a year because of a state Supreme Court order to increase spending on public schools.

Lawmakers formally kicked off their work Monday on a response to the court’s order in October that the state’s aid to public schools is inadequate under the state constitution.

The justice’s ruling came despite a new law that phased in a $293 million increase over two years, to raise it to $4.3 billion annually.

A joint committee appointed by legislative leaders had its first meeting Monday, and it reviewed projections from legislative researchers that the state could face projected budget shortfalls after July 2019.

That’s even with the $600 million-a-year income tax increase lawmakers passed earlier this year to help balance the budget.

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