Kansas lawmakers have caucuses before opening annual session

Democratic lawmakers were meeting to discuss school funding issues before the Kansas Legislature opened its annual session.

Democrats from both chambers gathered Sunday afternoon for a joint caucus. They were having a briefing on budget issues and hearing from Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis about school funding.

Senate Republicans also planned to have what their leaders described as an orientation meeting Sunday evening. However, they said it would be closed to the public.

Both chambers were scheduled to convene at 2 p.m. Monday to formally open the session.

Lawmakers expect to debate overhauling how the state distributes more than $4 billion a year in aid to its 286 public school districts. But GOP lawmakers aren’t yet sure how far the Legislature will get in drafting a new school finance formula.