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Kansas Legislature Opens Likely Tumultuous 2018 Session Today

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Kansas lawmakers are preparing to open their annual session facing a court mandate to boost spending on public schools with little appetite to do what could be necessary to pay for it.

The Republican-controlled Legislature is scheduled to convene Monday afternoon for mostly ceremonial meetings to start the traditional 90-day clock. Gov. Sam Brownback, still waiting confirmation for an federal ambassador’s post on International Religious Freedom, will give the annual State of the State address Tuesday evening. He will lay out budget proposals on Wednesday.

The big question ahead of Brownback’s speech is what he will propose as a response to the state Supreme Court’s ruling in October that Kansas’ total aid to its 286 school districts of about $4.3 billion a year is insufficient under the state constitution. Brownback promised to have a plan but has yet to release any details.

Many legislators are frustrated because they approved a school funding law last year that phased in a $293 million aid increase over two years. They also raised income taxes by roughly $600 million per year to help pay for it and balance the state budget. Overriding Brownback’s veto of a bill that rolled back past tax cuts he had championed going back to 2012.

 

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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