Gavel Grab

Report: Strings Attached to Bill With Increased KS Court Funding

stock-footage-kansas-flag-loopA bill advancing in the Kansas legislature provides more funding for the state courts, on the condition that the courts do not rule favorably for the plaintiff in a recent lawsuit and find a law adopted last year unconstitutional.

That’s according to Gavel to Gavel, a publication of the National Center for State Courts, which noted, “For the second year in a row Kansas legislators appear poised to give the courts more money on the condition they do not strike down certain laws as unconstitutional.”

A year ago, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed legislation (see Gavel Grab) opposed by members of the state Supreme Court that provided increased court funding while making those funds contingent upon overhauling administration of the judicial system. The measure allowed local courts to opt out of state Supreme Court control over budget preparation and submission and took away the Supreme Court’s authority to pick chief district court judges.

This year, Chief Judge Larry T. Solomon of the 30th District filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law (see Gavel Grab). According to Gavel to Gavel, under a bill introduced this year that would deliver more court funding, “the judiciary will get funding for the upcoming year provided it does not rule in favor of the pending lawsuit and find that HB 2338 of 2014 is unconstitutional.” A state Senate committee approved the measure in late March.

The National Center for State Courts is a Justice at Stake partner organization.

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