Topeka Two non-binding resolutions — one telling the federal government to stop intruding on states’ rights, and the other a slap at school districts that sued the state for more education funding — were recommended for approval Wednesday by a Senate committee.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 1615 was approved 10-1 by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The measure says the federal government has violated the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which says that powers not specifically designated to the federal government are reserved for the states.
The amendment drew some 200 people to a hearing and rally last month in Topeka.
Most members of committee said the measure represented an accurate reflection of public sentiment in Kansas. But state Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, voted against it, saying he sometimes disagreed with the federal government, but didn’t think that warranted a resolution.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 1621 was approved 6-5. It says taxpayer funds shouldn’t be used to finance litigation against the state.
The measure was aimed at school districts that successfully sued the state for more school funding, and have filed a motion to re-open that lawsuit because of recent state budget cuts to schools.
Chairman Tim Owens, R-Overland Park, said public entities shouldn’t be blocked from seeking redress in the courts, and noted the state of Kansas often files litigation paid for by taxpayers.
But supporters of the proposal said the public is angry over their tax dollars being used to fund lawsuits for more funding.