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Kansas House Approves Judicial Budget Fix

J. Stephen Conn
flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas House has passed a bill that would avoid a shutdown of the state courts. A legal dispute threatens to eliminate the budget for the court system in Kansas.

The court system budget was tied to another law, and when the Kansas Supreme Court struck down that law it also invalidated the entire judicial budget. The Supreme Court ruled lawmakers had violated the separation of powers.

That struck a chord with some Republican lawmakers, who have grumbled about the courts stepping on their authority. Republican Rep. Ron Ryckman urged House members to restore the court funding, but he also seemed to hint at the feelings of some dissatisfied lawmakers.

“The Supreme Court has drawn a bright line defining the separation of powers, one that we trust will continue to stay bright,” Ryckman says.

The bill fixing the funding issue passed the House 119-0. The next step will be consideration in the Senate.

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.