- Associated Press - Sunday, June 5, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas Democratic lawmakers have been circulating a petition to force a special legislative session to address school funding.

The move comes after the Kansas Supreme Court rejected the Legislature’s latest attempt to enact a constitutionally equitable school funding system and kept a June 30 deadline, raising the possibility that schools could close if the date passes without further legislative action, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported (https://j.mp/1Y15Ijm ).

In a joint letter sent Saturday evening to Gov. Sam Brownback, House Minority Leader Tom Burroughs, D-Kansas City, and Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, said they have begun collecting signatures to force the governor to call a special session. The petition would have to be signed by two-thirds of the members of each chamber to succeed. The legislature is dominated by Republicans.

“Due to your inaction and the failure of Republican leadership to address the needs of our schools during the regular session, we are invoking Article 5, Section 1 of the Kansas Constitution, which requires the governor to call the legislature into special session upon petition signed by at least two-thirds of the members elected to each house. We have already begun collecting signatures,” the letter reads.

“It is time to move past these failures, come together, and find a solution to equitably fund Kansas schools,” the letter reads.

The governor can also call a special session by himself. Brownback’s office hasn’t given any indication of its plans.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com


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