Senators drop funding ultimatum

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April 4, 2018 - 11:00 PM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Two top Republican legislators in Kansas on Wednesday dropped a demand that lawmakers move to curb judges’ power before increasing spending on public schools, allowing work to move forward on satisfying a court mandate on education funding.

Senate President Susan Wagle and Majority Leader Jim Denning had said Tuesday that their chamber would not debate school funding until the GOP-controlled Legislature approved a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution to limit the courts’ power to decide education spending issues. An amendment approved by lawmakers would be put to a statewide vote.

The House Judiciary Committee approved such an amendment Wednesday, but Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr. said the full House wouldn’t debate it this week. Lawmakers are scheduled to start their annual 2½-week spring break on Saturday, and GOP Gov. Jeff Colyer is pushing them to pass a funding increase before leaving the Statehouse.

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