Kansas Legislature

Christopher Sessums / flickr Creative Commons

A top leader in the Kansas Senate says lawmakers may ask school districts to dip into their reserve funds to help solve a looming budget deficit.

Republican Majority Leader Jim Denning, from Overland Park, says he knows taxes will have to be raised to structurally balance the state budget.

The problem, he says, is the 2018 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

He calls that a "bridge year," and says he may want school districts to use 2 percent of their reserve funds to help balance the budget.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Kansas lawmakers return to Topeka Monday after a week-long break. As Stephen Koranda reports, they’ll get back to work with some new information about the challenges they face.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

The Kansas Supreme Court’s school finance decision Thursday doesn’t give lawmakers much time to come up with a new funding formula. As Jim McLean of the Kansas News Service reports, a tight deadline isn’t the only problem they face.

It is not hyperbole to say the challenges that members of the 2017 Kansas Legislature face are among the most daunting in the state's history.

Sam Zeff / Kansas News Service

There’s been an awful lot of discussion on what Kansas’s new school funding formula will look like and whether the Legislature will still make cuts to public schools mid-year.

Nothing has been decided, which has educators in the state both a little optimistic and a little scared.

frankieleon, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas is one of only three states that does not allow first responders to carry a drug to reverse opioid overdoses. A bill unanimously approved by the Kansas House on Thursday would change that.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Editor's note: This post was updated at 4:34 p.m.

The Kansas Senate failed Wednesday to override Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of a bill that would have rolled back big portions of his signature 2012 tax cuts. 

Lawmakers voted 24-16 against the effort to overturn the veto. Supporters were three votes short of the two-thirds majority of 27 votes needed in the 40-member chamber. The vote came hours after legislators in the House had voted, by a narrow margin, to override the veto.

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service

Kansas legislators heard concerns from law enforcement groups Wednesday about two immigration bills promoted by Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Efforts to repeal major juvenile justice reforms passed in Kansas last year appear to have stalled.

The law passed last year is aimed at rehabilitating juvenile offenders closer to their families rather than in prisons or group homes that studies show often cause more problems than they solve.

But the law stripped prosecutors and judges of some discretion to impose stiffer sentences in some juvenile cases so those groups opposed the changes from the start.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers have the tall order of writing a new school funding formula this year to replace temporary block grants. The work so far has been behind the scenes.

There have been school funding proposals introduced in the Kansas Legislature, but committees have yet to advance any plans.

Republican House Speaker Ron Ryckman says he wants something that’s sustainable and is predictable when it comes to costs for the state and funding for schools. Ryckman wants to have a plan in place by April, but that’s not a hard deadline.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

A tax and budget debate fizzled in the Kansas Senate Thursday, before it had even started. As Stephen Koranda reports, the situation reveals just how divided lawmakers have become as they work to solve the state's budget crisis.

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