Kansas lawmakers are facing an even tighter deadline to pass a new school finance law this session, after an attorney for the state encouraged them to finish their work on the topic less than two months into the coming 2018 legislative session.
Asked by lawmakers last week what legal staff need to help make the state’s case, Arthur Chalmers urged them to aim for the beginning of March for handing off a new school finance bill rather than sometime closer to the date the Kansas Supreme Court set for filing the state’s arguments.
Once lawmakers pass a bill, Chalmers said it still will need to reach the governor’s desk. Then the state’s legal team will need to collect committee meeting minutes and supplementary materials for the court and write a brief defending the Legislature’s response.
Chalmers says the Legislature needs to make these decisions and work something out, as a practical matter, by about March 1.
The Kansas Supreme Court found the state’s school finance formula unconstitutional in October and set an April 30 deadline for the Legislature and governor to address the court’s concerns and submit legal briefs defending their response.