Manhattan lawmaker says some Republicans are pushing to rewrite school funding formula


Rep. Phillips

TOPEKA — The Kansas Senate last week pushed legislation through the chamber which would greatly reduce income taxes, to the tune of about $190 million. The bill now heads to the Kansas House.

While it may bring potential tax relief to the state, the bill also would limit the state’s ability to push ahead on some of Gov. Laura Kelly’s agenda items including a proposed increase to public education funding. In addition, 67th District Representative Tom Phillips (R-Manhattan) says a potential rewrite of the school funding formula is being discussed in the hallways of the Capitol.
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Rep. Phillips says he’d prefer to see the legislature move on from the school funding law and that trying to rewrite the formula could send a wrong message to the Supreme Court.

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The Senate income tax bill measure was approved by all but one Republican in a 26-14 first round vote Thursday. The bill did not muster any support from Democrats. The legislation was developed to help prevent individuals and businesses from paying higher income taxes to the state because of changes in federal tax laws. Phillips, who serves on the House Tax Committee, says they will study more of the bill’s potential impacts.
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Phillips says the bill has members split along party lines.

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The Senate’s income tax bill, championed by Republicans faces almost certain veto by Gov. Kelly if the House approves it in its current form. The bill was introduced in response to a 2017 federal tax law signed by President Donald Trump enabling individuals to itemize income tax deductions on state returns and take a higher standard deduction on federal returns. Democrats have criticized GOP leadership for pushing the bill through prior to resolution of appropriations bills on public education and other government functions.
If you missed any of Rep. Phillips interview, it’s archived in the on demand section of

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Brandon Peoples

KMAN News Director and host of In Focus. Contact Brandon at

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