Kansas lawmakers in their own words: from ‘dropping little turds’ to ‘a terrible mistake’

The Kansas Senate prepares for the final day of the 2016 legislative session on Wednesday June 1, 2016 at the Kansas statehouse in Topeka, Kan. (Chris Neal/Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

A roundup of quotes from lawmakers regarding the Kansas Supreme Court’s school finance decision and Wednesday’s closing of the 2016 legislative session:

“Clearly, clearly it’s a political decision, and anyone who says otherwise has not read it.”

— Sen. Ty Masterson, R-Andover

“Frankly we don’t know what would appease the court. We thought we did that during the wrap-up session. There’s been a lot of talk, and a lot of attorneys have come to the conclusion that the Gannon decision was a political decision. It wasn’t legal, it was political, with the intent to take the focus off the Carr brothers and abortion bills that are before the court and place it on education in order to help bolster their retention elections. And that whatever remedy we think we may be passing, they’re going go out of their way to strike it down in order to keep that narrative going.”

— Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, R-Hutchinson

“I don’t want to go into a special session. I don’t want to go into explaining to my people why schools are closing on July 1. I realize they’re playing games with less than 1 percent of our school budget. But that’s less than 1 percent of our budget, too. It’s not their fault we don’t have the money. In my opinion, we ought to move on down the road.”

— Sen. Jeff Longbine, R-Emporia

“I think we should remember that this court doesn’t have any intention of allowing this issue to be resolved. They’re going to continue dropping little turds like they have at the appropriate times to do everything that they can to try to distract the Legislature. And for us to play this game with them is just encouraging them to continue engaging in this bad behavior. Eventually we’re going to have to stand up to this court and let them know that we are the Legislature. They are not the Legislature. Capitulating with them, I think, is a poor strategy and we’ll continue to be unsuccessful. “

— Sen. Jeff Melcher, R-Leawood

“Why don’t we just have a statute that grants amnesty to everyone that is in the funding chain, between the state treasurer, all the way down to the school board and superintendent, that says they are immune from any contempt of court charge and that schools are to open this year? If the court decides to strike that down, we (can) have an agreement with the governor who will grant a pardon to anybody that the court attempts to charge with contempt of court, and we’re going to keep the schools open.”

— Sen. Mitch Holmes, R-St. John

“I think that (defying the court) would be a terrible mistake. I think we have a constitutional obligation to provide for suitable education. The court has done its job in determining what that is. It’s our job to follow their orders.”

— Rep. Boog Highberger, D-Lawrence

“I find it fantastical that the Senate President, on the last day at Sine Die, when we don’t have a balanced budget, and we don’t have a constitutional way of funding our schools, would bring this (transgender bathroom) resolution to the floor so we can debate about where transgender kids pee.”

— Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City