The 2017 state legislature is likely to go into an extra session because no consensus appears to be developing for a revenue-raising and spending bill to meet the needs of the state.
Each day that the legislature is in session costs the state thousands of dollars. The legislature has lagged in creating a new funding formula for K-12 education. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled this year that the state’s current funding formula does not finance schools adequately. No tax increase proposals floated so far during this legislative session would raise enough money to fund the education formula that the Supreme Court says is needed. In particular, one-fourth of K-12 students are performing poorly in mathematics, reading, and in other subjects, and legislators have been urged to focus on working to solve this problem with more funding. In addition, the state is expected to have a budget shortfall of about 900 million dollars for the next two years.
It is time for the legislature to pass a revenue and spending measure that is fair and equitable and that will meet the needs of the state and its citizens.