Senate Rejects All Plans

Too much, too little, or just right? That’s the question that senators pondered as they debated various funding plans. As it turns out, there was no agreement, and thus, no plan.

[Majority leader] Schmidt said the Senate was divided between those who think the plans are too large and would bankrupt the state and those who don’t think enough money is being offered. There are also differences on how the money should be spent.

So how did things shake out?

A majority of Republicans favored the lower-spending Barnett bill, but Democrats and several moderate Republicans voted against it.

Barnett said he would not give up.

“We have 20 Republicans who are willing to spend a large amount of money for schools over four years that does not require a tax increase or state-owned casinos,” he said. “So we’re very, very close.”

Most Democrats said they favored the House-backed plan because it would spend more money for at-risk students and significantly increase the ability of school districts to tap local tax revenue, a key provision for Johnson County lawmakers.

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