Kansas lawmakers closer on schools, face more talks on taxes

Posted at 5:09 AM, May 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-31 17:41:22-04

Kansas legislators are moving closer to approving a plan to increase state spending on public schools even as agreement keeps eluding them on raising taxes.

The Senate gave first-round approval just after midnight Tuesday to a bill phasing in an increase in education funding of roughly $230 million over two years. Senators planned to take final action Wednesday.

The House has its own plan to phase in a $285 million increase over two years. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in March that the state's $4 billion a year in education funding is inadequate.

Outside of school funding, Kansas faces projected budget shortfalls totaling $887 million through June 2019.

But the House voted 85-37 against a bill to raise $1.2 billion over two years with higher income taxes.