Kansas Legislature Opens Likely Tumultuous 2018 Session Today

Kansas lawmakers are preparing to open their annual session facing a court mandate to boost spending on public schools with little appetite to do what could be necessary to pay for it.

The Republican-controlled Legislature is scheduled to convene Monday afternoon for mostly ceremonial meetings to start the traditional 90-day clock. Gov. Sam Brownback, still waiting confirmation for an federal ambassador’s post on International Religious Freedom, will give the annual State of the State address Tuesday evening. He will lay out budget proposals on Wednesday.

The big question ahead of Brownback’s speech is what he will propose as a response to the state Supreme Court’s ruling in October that Kansas’ total aid to its 286 school districts of about $4.3 billion a year is insufficient under the state constitution. Brownback promised to have a plan but has yet to release any details.

Many legislators are frustrated because they approved a school funding law last year that phased in a $293 million aid increase over two years. They also raised income taxes by roughly $600 million per year to help pay for it and balance the state budget. Overriding Brownback’s veto of a bill that rolled back past tax cuts he had championed going back to 2012.

 

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Now in his third year as News Director at KD-Country 94 and Z-96.3 The Lake, Chad is a jack of not all, but many trades. He spent previous years of his working life in hotel management, event planning, security, the aviation industry, staff writing for a newspaper, and as a small business owner. He began doing play-by-play of high school sports for KDNS and KZDY in 2009 and came to work full time for the stations in July of 2015. He is a single-father of a young daughter and enjoys spending his free time with her. His favorite activities include attending live music and sporting events as well as being a singer/songwriter. A natural conversationalist, he also enjoys a good discussion/debate on a myriad of topics from current events and politics to sports and philosophy. He resides in Beloit with his daughter and continues to write sports and meeting stories for a local newspaper.