Top Kansas lawmaker suggests fee on utility bill for schools

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – The Kansas Senate’s majority leader is suggesting that the state impose an extra fee on utility bills to provide new dollars for public schools.

Overland Park Republican Jim Denning said Thursday that he’s drafting a proposal to charge residential customers $3 a month on each of their water, electric and natural gas bills. He said he would seek a $10-per-month charge for businesses.

Denning doesn’t know yet how much money the plan would raise.

He outlined his idea as the House and Senate budget committees had preliminary discussions on budget issues before lawmakers return Monday from an annual spring break. Some lawmakers oppose increasing consumers’ utility bills.

Kansas faces projected budget shortfalls totaling $889 million through June 2019 and the state Supreme Court has ruled that education funding is inadequate.

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