Education Lawsuit Could Prompt Budget Rewrite

Jan 13, 2014

Legislators return to the Kansas Statehouse Monday to kick off the 2014 legislative session.

For the first time in decades, they passed a two-year budget last session, meaning they won't need to go through the normal budget process this year.

House Speaker Ray Merrick, a Stilwell Republican, said they'll have to adjust the corrections budget and they may look at some other issues. But Merrick does not expect a major rewrite of what's been done so far.

"I don't think they're gonna come in saying, 'oh we're gonna readjust everything, we got to put a lot of money someplace else.' That work was done last year," Merrick said.

But the Kansas Supreme Court is considering a lawsuit over education funding and a ruling in the suit could lead to some significant work on the budget. Merrick said the lawsuit could prompt lawmakers to rewrite the school funding formula or look at different ways of calculating funding.

The lawsuit argues Kansas is not living up to its obligation to properly fund schools and education spending should be increased.