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Brownback Looks Ahead To Next Session For New School Finance Formula

Stephen Koranda file photo
Gov. Sam Brownback speaks to reporters last year.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is already looking ahead to next year’s legislative session, just days before lawmakers are set to meet for a special session.

The governor told Topeka radio station WIBW this week that he wants to put an end to what he says is a decades-long battle over school funding.

“I think there’s a series of ways we can go at this," he said. "Really, I think what we need to do right now is, let’s get by this situation that we’re in, let’s look at some remedies that we can do, and let’s get prepared to work on a new school finance formula next year.”

Lawmakers are due back at the Statehouse on June 23. They'll have a week to find a solution to the funding inequities or the Kansas Supreme Court will shut down public schools. Brownback says that's sufficient time to comply with the state Supreme Court’s ruling.

He also discussed the state’s controversial tax break for small businesses that he enacted in 2012. Brownback said the law could come under review during the 2017 legislative session. Critics of the law—including some small business owners--say the law is costing the state millions of dollars.

“I’m open to examining this. I think that what should be done is next year’s legislative session, when we’re looking at a big new school funding system, we should also review the tax policy," he said. "It’s been 3 years now that that tax policy’s in place, let’s take a good full look at all of it, We’ll have 3 years of data in that time, and let’s take a good look at it.”