Kansas Legislature News

The following Kansas Legislature news links come directly from online news sources via RSS feed. Content is not edited, and any individual Kansas legislative news item may or may not necessarily reflect Fred’s views or stands on any particular issue. We’re merely providing you with news about the Kansas Legislature as a public service.

5 Reasons The Kansas Supreme Court Found The State’s School Funding Unconstit...
9 Oct 2017 at 7:20pm

Last week the state lost again at the Kansas Supreme Court, which unanimously ruled that Kansas is underfunding its public schools, with repercussions for academically struggling children across the state — and especially for students and taxpayers who live in resource-poor school districts.  Here are five key messages the justices had for the Legislature and the state of Kansas in the decision...

Editorial: Consequences of the past five years
7 Oct 2017 at 7:18pm

As lawmakers struggle to figure out how they’ll respond to the Kansas Supreme Court’s recent ruling that education funding remains inadequate and inequitable in the state, it’s hard to look back upon the past five years without feeling a tremendous sense of waste. The Legislature will soon face a few excruciating decisions – will it raise taxes again to increase K-12 funding? Will it make cuts at a time when we face a teacher shortage, state correctional officers are working 12-hour shifts and the KBI doesn’t have enough agents? Some lawmakers are even wondering if they’ll end up defying ...

Raise taxes, cut spending or defy Kansas Supreme Court? Lawmakers ponder resp...
5 Oct 2017 at 7:13pm

As legislators mull how to respond to the Kansas Supreme Court’s finding that school funding is unconstitutional, some are seeing three options: raise taxes, cut other spending or defy the court. The Legislative Budget Committee was briefed Thursday on the latest school finance ruling from the Supreme Court that found state funding for K-12 schools inadequate and inequitable, and legislators sought answers from staff on what options they might have. Legislators have until April 30 to submit briefs supporting their remedy to the situation, and the Supreme Court plans to rule on the new str...

Kansas still underfunds schools: state supreme court
2 Oct 2017 at 7:11pm

The Kansas Supreme Court on Monday ruled that even after the state increased funding for public schools this summer, the new plan was still constitutionally inadequate. The high court set a deadline of June 30, 2018, for Kansas to set up a funding plan that meets the state constitution's definition of adequacy. In response to the court's unanimous ruling in March that Kansas' schools were underfunded, the state in June enacted a two-year funding boost totaling $293 million. An attorney for school districts suing the state argued before the state supreme court in July that the increase fel...

Kansas income tax revenue comes in ahead of estimates, 2016 collections
2 Oct 2017 at 7:05pm

Kansas income tax collections are ahead of estimates by 7.2 percent for the first fiscal quarter under a new income tax increase, the Kansas Department of Revenue announced Thursday. Between July 1 and Sept. 30, the state collected $756.4 million in income taxes, putting it more ahead of last years’ estimates by 19 percent. July 1 marked the beginning of the new fiscal year and a tax plan expected to boost revenue by $1.2 billion in two years.

Kansas presses on to overhaul driver’s license records
13 Sep 2017 at 6:45pm

Kansas lawmakers and auditors share anxiety about potential technical problems with the Kansas Department of Revenue’s planned launch in January of a multimillion-dollar computer system for issuing and tracking 2 million driver’s license records that is five years behind schedule. Avoiding performance problems that plagued introduction in 2012 of the Department of Revenue’s vehicle registration system — replete with computer malfunctions and long lines for customers getting license tags — is the challenge, officials said.

It’s still interesting in Topeka
5 Sep 2017 at 6:44pm

OK, summer is officially over, even though the kids have been in school a few weeks, and we’re still using the air conditioner. But things are heating up. The end of summer in the Statehouse means it’s just four months until the start of the election-year 2018 session of the Kansas Legislature; the issues already are piling up that lawmakers and statewide elected officials are going to have to deal with in the same year many of their names and voting records will be on the ballot.

Kansas needs robust answer to opioid, heroin epidemic
28 Aug 2017 at 6:29pm

Topeka pharmacist Vicki Schmidt finds research reports and anecdotal accounts of rising deaths from opioid and heroin overdose sufficient proof of a crisis in Kansas. “Every day there’s a new headline,” she said. “It’s a crisis that we should have seen coming. It’s just exploding.” Topeka politician Schmidt, chairwoman of the Legislature’s joint committee devoted to oversight of the state’s 400,000-client Medicaid system, said the Kansas Department of Health and Environment should be working with the three private insurance companies managing KanCare to take an active role in responding t...