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Kansas Legislative Leaders Want Shorter, Quieter Session in 2016

All quiet in the Kansas Senate chamber, for now.  Lawmakers return to Topeka next week for the 2016 session.  (Photo by J. Schafer)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Top Republicans are hoping the Kansas Legislature can close a projected state budget deficit quickly this year and avoid the infighting that made last year's session the longest ever.  Education funding is also an issue. But leaders of the two chambers' GOP majorities aren't sure how far they'll get in drafting a new formula for distributing more than $4 billion in state aid to public schools.  Lawmakers are waiting for the Kansas Supreme Court to rule in an education funding lawsuit against the state from four school districts.  The Legislature convenes Monday (January 11) and its agenda is packed with issues. But Republican leaders said their goal is to wrap up the year's legislating in less than the traditionally scheduled 90 days after last year's session lasted a record 114 days.  On Tuesday, Governor Sam Brownback will deliver his budget message and policy priorities to lawmakers during his annual State-of-the-State address.  The speech will be carried live on Kansas Public Radio and other public radio stations across the state.


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