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Kansas Lawmakers Move Quickly To Address Court Funding

Stephen Koranda file photo

Kansas House and Senate committees moved quickly Thursday to keep funding intact for the Kansas courts. Lawmakers last year tied the judicial budget to another bill changing how chief judges are selected in Kansas judicial districts. When that law was struck down, it also invalidated the court budget, threatening to shut down Kansas courts.

The House Appropriations Committee advanced a bill that would reinstate the court funding. Republican state Rep. Ron Ryckman says they want to provide some certainty that the courts will stay open.

“We’re moving it through, at least in our committee, as promptly as possible, again, to provide the same funding that was appropriated last year,” Ryckman says.

Democratic state Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore hailed the move.

“I’m so pleasantly surprised that they’re finally recognizing the problems that this creates for the judicial branch of government,” Wolfe Moore says.

A similar measure also advanced through a Senate Committee Thursday.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Radio covering health, education and politics.