Kansas Supreme Court

Brad Wilson / flickr Creative Commons

In the basket of thorny issues facing Kansas lawmakers, how to fund public education is certainly among the thorniest.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers seeking to keep university campuses, hospitals and government buildings off limits to firearms are facing a familiar argument from opponents.

Namely, that such restrictions infringe on the right to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“It’s a Second Amendment issue,” says Rep. John Whitmer, a Wichita Republican. “It’s a right to bear arms issue.”

In a blow to teachers in Kansas, the state Supreme Court Friday upheld a 2014 law that stripped educators of due process before being fired.

In a unanimous ruling the court rejected an appeal by the Kansas National Education Association (KNEA) that argued the law violated the constitutional ban of one bill covering more than one subject. KNEA claimed since the bill covered both appropriations and policy the act was unconstitutional.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

The Kansas Supreme Court is heading into a year in which it could play a significant role in state government by making major rulings on school funding and abortion, and seeking higher pay for court employees. The court also could make decisions in the kinds of capital punishment cases that put four justices at risk of losing their seats in the 2016 election.

Here's a look at big cases and major issues facing the state's highest court in 2017.

School Funding

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers have some major issues to tackle in the next legislative session, and one of their top challenges will be writing a new school funding formula.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers already know they’ll have some big issues on their plate during the next legislative session, which kicks off in January. There’s also uncertainty clouding the issues.

As Stephen Koranda reports, the Kansas Supreme Court heard arguments in a school funding lawsuit this fall, but justices haven’t yet handed down a decision.

kscourts.org

Despite a growing budget deficit, the Kansas court system will ask lawmakers for an extra $20 million to boost pay for court employees across the state.

A study released by the state Supreme Court paints a dismal picture: Pay for district court judges ranks 50th in the country, and some court employees have starting salary below the federal poverty level for a family of four.

In addition, according to the high court study, a third of judicial branch employees work more than one job, hardly a recipe for retaining experienced workers.

kscourts.org

After roughly a million dollars in TV and radio ads plus a blizzard of postcards, the Kansas Supreme Court didn't change one bit with Tuesday's elections.

With a majority of precincts reporting, all four of the justices who had been targeted by the Republican Party, Kansans for Life and other conservative groups comfortably won retention.

wikipedia.org

According to the latest poll conducted by the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University, Kansas voters prefer Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. 

Andy Marso / KHI/File photo

New campaign finance reports are calling into question Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s insistence that he’s not involved in an effort to oust several Kansas Supreme Court justices.

Reports filed this week show that Brownback’s Road Map PAC contributed $65,000 to Kansans for Life in September and October, bringing the total since the first of the year to $110,300.

Pages