Each chamber rejects the other’s approach; this as the 2004 legislative session prepares to wrap up.
It’s something the governor says they can’t write off any longer. Governor Sebelius says, “I recommend that the legislators do their job and I think this is the most important work that they have to do. I want them to stay here and finish the job that the voters sent them to do, fund public schools adequately for at least the next year.”
The legislature has to pass an education-funding bill; the trouble is deciding what the bill will say.
The Senate held firm to its no-new-taxes position. On Saturday, the senate voted down the House’s $155 million education bill, which would raise state sales and income taxes, 35-5.
Just hours later, the House returned the favor, in a 104-16 vote, voting down the Senate’s $72 million education bill, which wouldn’t raise taxes, but would take money from the state reserves and would postpone pension funds. This in addition to the $2.7 billion already budgeted for elementary and secondary education.
It’s seems as though the one thing both houses agree on, is that they disagree. That’s why a special committee met Saturday afternoon to try to work out their differences.
Kathe Decker, a Republican from Clay Center, is chairwoman of the House Education Committee. She says she's surprised there has been no middle ground.
The special committee will meet again Monday morning to discuss education funding further.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.