Kansas Legislature hires former senator Jeff King as attorney on school funding, over Democratic objections
A legislative panel on Friday afternoon hired former Senate vice president Jeff King as legal counsel to assist in responding to a Kansas Supreme Court order related to school finance.
Senate President Susan Wagle, of Wichita, fended off sharp criticism from Democrats on the panel, repeatedly stating the Legislature would employ King for his expertise in litigation and his understanding of the Legislature — not for his politics.
“We aren’t hiring him as a politician,” Wagle said. “We feel like with his knowledge and experience he would be an expert in documenting our proceedings, so that the court would understand the direction we choose to take in answering Gannon.”
The idea of hiring King sparked controversy because of his past political stances and work defending the state in the Montoy v. Kansas school finance case from more than a decade ago. In that case, as in the current Gannon v. Kansas lawsuit, the courts found the state’s funding of public schools to be unconstitutional.