Kansas Lawmakers Pass Schools Plan, But Budget Issues Loom

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Before starting their annual spring break, Kansas lawmakers approved an education funding plan designed to satisfy a state Supreme Court mandate to help poor school districts.

They also approved an overhaul of the juvenile justice system and new protections for religious groups on college campuses. But the Republican-dominated Legislature is likely to face difficult budget issues when it reconvenes April 27 to wrap up its business for the year.

Legislators approved a bill last month to balance the state’s $16 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. But state tax collections have fallen short of expectations 11 of the past 12 months.