TOPEKA — The Kansas Legislature is out of session until June 1, and its leaders hope lawmakers have finished their business for the year.
The House adjourned shortly after 1 a.m. Monday, and the Senate followed at about 3:30 a.m. Their session June 1 is supposed to be only a brief adjournment ceremony.
But the Kansas Supreme Court is reviewing changes lawmakers made in March to how the state distributes more than $4 billion a year in aid to its 286 school districts.
The court said in February that Kansas was shorting poor districts on aid and ordered a fix by June 30. The justices hear arguments about the Legislature’s work on May 10.
Lawmakers have extra time: They’ve been in session only 73 days out of the normal 90 scheduled.
Kansas legislators have approved a plan for balancing the state budget that gives Republican Gov. Sam Brownback broad discretion to make spending cuts.
The Senate approved the measure on a 22-18 vote early Monday morning. The measure initially was failing, but several GOP senators switched their votes. The House approved the plan earlier Monday morning, 63-59.
The state faces projected shortfalls totaling more than $290 million in its current budget and in the one for the next fiscal year beginning July 1.
The plan assumes Brownback follows through on plans to cut higher education spending and delay major highway projects.
Brownback also would have to make up to $92 million in as-yet-unspecified spending cuts during the next fiscal year but would be barred from touching aid to public schools.
A plan for balancing Kansas’ budget doesn’t yet have enough support to pass the Kansas Senate after some Republicans objected to giving GOP Gov. Sam Brownback too much discretion to make spending cuts.
Senators were voting early Monday morning and the initial tally was reported at 21-17 against the bill. However, President Susan Wagle was keeping the voting open and senators can switch their votes.
The House approved the plan earlier Monday morning on a 63-59 vote.
The state faces projected shortfalls totaling more than $290 million through June 2017.
The plan assumes Brownback would follow through on plans to cut higher education spending and delay highway projects.
Brownback also would have to make up to $92 million in as-yet-unspecified spending cuts but couldn’t touch aid to public schools.