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“Your inability to lead — and your Republican allies refusal to do their constitutional duty — has put Kansas on the brink of a constitutional crisis.
It is time to move past these failures, come together, and find a solution to equitably fund Kansas schools.” The governor can call a special session by himself, or must call one if two-thirds of the members of each chamber sign the petition.
A petition has never been used before to trigger a special session and has only been an option available under the state constitution for the past few decades.
So far, the governor’s office has given no indication of its plans, however.
Some Republicans have begun calling upon the governor to call a special session. Ron Ryckman, Jr., R-Olathe, said in a letter to colleagues Friday that a special session is needed.
“Although the Legislature has adequately funded education throughout this litigation, the court has once again moved the goal post,” Ryckman said.
Democratic lawmakers have begun circulating a petition in an effort to force the Legislature into special session to address school funding.
The Democrats face an uphill climb — the petition must be signed by two-thirds of the Legislature, dominated by Republicans, some of whom are looking for a confrontation with the Kansas Supreme Court.
The justices rejected the Legislature’s latest attempt to enact a constitutionally equitable school funding system.Meanwhile, the high court has kept a June 30 deadline for lawmakers in place, raising the possibility schools could close if the date passes without further action from lawmakers.In a joint letter from House Minority Leader Tom Burroughs, D-Kansas City, and Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, sent to Gov.Sam Brownback on Saturday evening, the Legislature’s top Democrats say they have begun collecting signatures to force the governor to call a special session.“Due to your inaction and the failure of Republican leadership to address the needs of our schools during the regular session, we are invoking Article 5, Section 1 of the Kansas Constitution, which requires the governor to call the legislature into special session upon petition signed by at least two-thirds of the members elected to each house.We have already begun collecting signatures,” the letter reads.