Budget, school funding among big issues for Kansas lawmakers

Top Republicans are hoping the Kansas Legislature can close a projected $160 million state budget deficit quickly this year and avoid the infighting that made last year’s session the state’s longest ever.

Education funding is another looming issue, but leaders of the two chambers’ GOP majorities aren’t sure how far they will get in drafting a new formula for distributing more than $4 billion in state aid to public schools. Key Republicans said late last summer that they would like to enact a new school finance law in 2016, but GOP Gov. Sam Brownback and legislative leaders have said in recent weeks that interest has waned.

Lawmakers also are waiting for the Kansas Supreme Court to rule in an education funding lawsuit brought by four school districts.

(Read more: LJWorld.com stories: News)

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