Judicial Funding Bill Advances in Kansas

A Senate committee has approved a bill to keep state courts open following a legal dispute involving the judicial branch’s budget.

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s unanimous voice vote Thursday came about an hour after the House Appropriations Committee passed an identical bill.

Senate leaders expect the full chamber to vote on its measure next week.

The bill repeals a 2015 law threatening all court funding.

The law was passed by Republican legislators and tied to a statute they enacted in 2014.

The 2014 policy stripped the Kansas Supreme Court of its power to appoint chief district court judges in the state’s 31 judicial districts. The 2015 law said the judiciary’s entire budget was nullified if the 2014 law was struck down.

The Supreme Court last month invalidated the 2014 law.

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