Opinion Columns & Blogs

Wasn’t easy ramming through school-funding bill


In just over one week, state lawmakers introduced a bill to replace the state’s 2-decades-old school-finance formula, held hearings on the bill (where only three anti-tax groups testified in support), and got it passed by the full House. But it wasn’t easy ramming through a bill this consequential that few lawmakers read or fully understood. It required arm-twisting, sweetheart deals, holding the floor vote open for two hours, flying a lawmaker to the Statehouse using the state’s private plane, and disregarding the objections of nearly every school district. Now the bill goes to the Senate, which, thanks to a procedural move, can approve it without allowing any amendments. But the bill still faces a hurdle in its fast track to becoming law: the courts. A three-judge panel in Topeka issued an order Friday indicating it might block the bill from taking effect. No wonder Gov. Sam Brownback and some GOP lawmakers are so eager to change how the state selects Supreme Court justices. – Phillip Brownlee