Archive for Wednesday, March 22, 2006

House advances amendment on court limits

March 22, 2006


— Having already voted to cut the judiciary's budget, the House took up a proposed constitutional amendment Tuesday to clarify that the courts can't tell legislators how much to spend - something the Kansas Supreme Court did last year on education funding.

The House gave first-round approval on a voice vote to the proposed amendment, but it must have a two-thirds majority, or 84 votes, to send it to the Senate. If the Legislature approves the idea, voters would get a chance in November to make it part of the Kansas Constitution.

"All we're doing in this amendment is taking back ground that was taken from us," said Rep. Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson. "Let's give the opportunity to set the record straight."

The proposal is among several ideas floated during the session as a way to show that legislators think the court overstepped its authority when it ordered them to spend an additional $143 million - forcing a special session last summer - to meet their constitutional obligation to adequately fund public schools.

"It's about whether we believe self-government is a principle worth fighting for," said Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe. "We are in a constitutional conflict with the Kansas Supreme Court."

During the special session, the Senate passed the same proposed amendment, but the House never could muster the necessary votes to follow suit.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 1 month ago

What they don't want to do is fund the schools, so this is the wrong amendment. They need to change the constitutional provision that requires them to do so, and is the basis for the court order. But these gutless wonders could never be that honest with the voters.

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