TOPEKA – Sen. Dick Kelsey wants to send a message to entities thinking about suing the state using tax dollars – don’t do it.
“In our Constitution the Legislature is clearly given the responsibly to determine policy regarding the expenditure of state funds,” the Goddard Republican wrote in testimony submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It is our duty to decide what to spend and how to spend it, not the courts.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear testimony Monday on Senate Concurrent Resolution 1621, which Kelsey introduced. The resolution seeks to bar entities from using state dollars to sue the state seeking more money.
“I also believe very strongly that it is wrong to use taxpayer money to sue the Legislature to get more taxpayer money,” Kelsey wrote. “If groups want to sue, let them use their own money.”
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The resolution does not come with any penalties for groups that do use tax dollars to sue the state.
The group Schools for Fair Funding, which includes the Wichita district, filed a motion earlier this month with the state Supreme Court arguing that Kansas should be spending more money on public education. The motion argues the state is out of compliance with the court’s 2006 ruling that forced the state to increase funding for public schools by $1 billion.
Over the last year, Gov. Mark Parkinson and lawmakers have cut about $1 billion from the state budget which started at $6.4 billion.
For more, read Tuesday’s Wichita Eagle.