Kansas leaders today announced joint support for a constitutional amendment, HCR 5006, to clarify that only the legislative branch has the power to appropriate money.
"Our state constitution should make it very clear that the power to authorize and require state spending belongs exclusively to the people's elected representatives," Governor Sam Brownback said.
The amendment reaffirms the legislative branch has the sole authority to appropriate state tax dollars and the executive and judicial branches can neither make appropriations nor redirect or limit any spending decisions made by the Kansas Legislature.
"This amendment simply clarifies that the elected representatives of the people are the ones who control the checkbook," said Senate President Steve Morris.
In 2006 the Senate considered a similar resolution, SCR 1613.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike O'Neal said, "In this continuing cycle of school finance litigation that wastes taxpayer dollars, this constitutional amendment would make clear the current provision in the Kansas Constitution that places the power to appropriate taxpayer funds in the hands of those elected by the people and not judges."
Speaker O'Neal and President Morris said their chambers will debate the resolution in the coming weeks.
Government leaders including Governor Brownback, Senate President Morris, House Speaker Mike O'Neal, Senate Majority Leader Emler, Senate Vice-President Vratil, House Majority Leader Siegfried and Speaker Pro Tem Vickrey joined today in giving their support to the measure.