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Kansas House, Senate Don’t Address Court Ruling In Budget Plans

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Stephen Koranda
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The Kansas House and Senate both approved budget plans this week, but neither one takes into account a court ruling on school funding. The Kansas Supreme Court said this week that Kansas hasn’t done enough to reduce funding disparities between districts.

Democratic Rep. John Carmichael argued the House shouldn’t have approved a budget that doesn’t deal with the financial implications of the ruling.

“In my business, if I received a $54 million bill, I would not be writing any checks until I figured out how to pay that bill,” Carmichael said.

Democrats proposed sending the budget back to committee for more work, but that move was defeated. Republican Rep. Ron Ryckman said it doesn’t make sense to hold up the entire budget because of the court's decision.

“The motion would hold all of the state government hostage, to an issue dealing with one part of the budget," Ryckman said. "That’s bad legislation."

Ryckman said members of the budget writing committee are already planning to review efficiency recommendations and offer further budget amendments.