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Budget Bill Approved By Lawmakers Lacks Additional Money For Schools

Christopher Sessums
flickr Creative Commons

Kansas lawmakers have approved a budget bill that balances on paper. But as Jim McLean reports from the Statehouse, it doesn’t yet include the money the Kansas Supreme Court says needs to be added for public schools.

The budget bill on its way to Gov. Sam Brownback uses a variety of transfers and accounting maneuvers to cover anticipated spending for the rest of the current budget year and the next one, which starts on July 1.

But it just barely balances and it doesn’t include any of the money needed to fix the school funding formula.

Republican leaders say they need time to study the Supreme Court decision.

“It is not necessary at this time to address anything as it pertains to the court," says Andover Republican Ty Masterson, who leads the Senate budget writing committee. "We have an opportunity to work through that. And the jury is out on what that really needs to be.”

Officials at the state department of education say it could cost an additional $70 million this year and $38 million next year to comply with the court’s order.