Topeka Lawmakers today returned for the wrap-up session and found a message waiting for them from Gov. Kathleen Sebelius -- let's get to work on school funding.
" ... the most important work of the session remains -- the work we must do to ensure that every child in Kansas receives the quality education he or she deserves," Sebelius said in a letter delivered to each legislator.
The Legislature is scheduled to debate school funding, gambling and possibly gay marriage during a scheduled four-day wrap-up session.
Sebelius said a tax increase is needed to provide an increase for education because school districts are proposing cuts, a court has declared the Kansas system of school finance unconstitutional, and the federal government is reducing promised funding.
"We must set our political differences aside and come together on a plan to adequately fund our schools. Leaving the Statehouse without addressing this critical issue isn't an option," she said.
Legislative leaders have opposed a tax increase, saying it would hurt the economy.
Later today, groups on both sides of the tax issue are planning rallies and news conferences at the Capitol.
-- Staff writer Scott Rothschild can be reached at 785-354-4222.