Session of 2000
Effective: April 14, 2000

HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 5059

A Concurrent Resolution requesting the state government to undertake and fund an
      ongoing strategic analysis of the state's economy and growing income disparity; memo-
      rializing the Congress of the United States to propose submission to the states an amend-
      ment to the Constitution of the United States of America restricting the ability of the
      federal judiciary to mandate any state or subdivision thereof to levy or increase taxes;
      urging the President and the Congress of the United States to increase funding for
      special education from an average federal share of 12% nationwide to the 40% level
      authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
     
      Section  1. WHEREAS,  The Kansas economy enjoyed strong and
sustained growth throughout the 1990's; and

      WHEREAS,  The traditional foundation pillars of the Kansas economy,
agriculture, oil and gas and manufacturing have been joined by a robust
information and service economy; and

      WHEREAS,  Increasing global competition presents ever stronger
challenges to leadership of Kansas agriculture and manufacturing, and
Kansas' oil and gas industry continues to endure hardship stemming from
volatile prices and escalating costs of extraction; and

      WHEREAS,  Kansas' institutions and citizens have shown considerable
promise to develop new strengths in the creation and application of tech-
nology as yet another key element in the state's economy; and

      WHEREAS,  The Kansas economy has been successfully guided by the
findings, objectives and strategies set forth as a result of a broadly-based,
non-partisan effort in the mid-1980's which resulted in publication in
1986 of what has become widely-known and respected as the "Redwood-
Krider Report"; and

      WHEREAS,  The evolving global economy has introduced new forces
only glimpsed on the horizon 14 years ago that now shape the economic
environment in which Kansans must compete;

      WHEREAS,  Although Kansas economy has shown sustained growth
in the 1990's, recent reports since the last census reveal a widening gap
in income disparity between high income families and both middle and
low income families in Kansas during the 1980's to the 1990's; and

      WHEREAS,  The 1999, Kansas Innovation Index by KTEC reveals
that the income disparity between high income families and both the
middle and low income families has worsened during the 1990's: Now
therefore,

      Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Kansas,
the Senate concurring therein: That the Legislature has determined that
the beginning of the twenty-first century represents an auspicious occa-
sion upon which to launch a comprehensive reexamination of factors,
trends and opportunities which confront the state; and

      Be it further resolved: That having created Kansas, Inc. as the private-
public agency of state government empowered to undertake ongoing stra-
tegic analysis of the state's economy and to oversee the formulation of
economic development policy and strategic planning for the state, Kansas,
Inc. is hereby urged to establish a broadly-based, inclusive, non-partisan
and objective working group to undertake a thorough examination of the
state's areas of economic advantage and disadvantage and of the increas-
ing income disparity in the state and to present to the Legislature and
the people of Kansas at the earliest feasible time its proposed strategies
for enhancing Kansas' potential comparative economic advantage and
proposed strategies to lessen the income disparity between high income
families and both middle and low income families; and

      Be it further resolved: That the Legislature urges that sufficient fund-
ing of this undertaking be the result of matching contributions made by
the private sector and the public sector, including this Legislature in the
form of an appropriation to Kansas, Inc. to be included in the FY 2001
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.

      Sec.  2. WHEREAS,  Unfunded mandates by the United States Con-
gress and the executive branch of the federal government increasingly
strain already tight state government budgets if the states are to comply;
and

      WHEREAS,  To further compound this assault on state revenues, fed-
eral district courts, with the blessing of the United States Supreme Court,
continue to order states to levy or increase taxes to supplement their
budgets to comply with federal mandates; and

      WHEREAS,  The court's actions are an intrusion into a legitimate leg-
islative debate over state spending priorities and not a response to a con-
stitutional directive; and

      WHEREAS,  The Constitution of the United States of America does
not allow, nor do the states need, judicial intervention requiring tax levies
or increases as solutions to potentially serious problems; and

      WHEREAS,  This usurpation of legislative authority begins a process
that over time could threaten the fundamental concept of separation of
powers that is precious to the preservation of the form of our government
embodied by the Constitution of the United States of America; and

      WHEREAS,  Fifteen states, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Col-
orado, Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada,
New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah, have peti-
tioned the United States Congress to propose an amendment to the Con-
stitution of the United States of America that reads as follows: "Neither
the Supreme Court nor any inferior court of the United States shall have
the power to instruct or order a state or political subdivision thereof, or
an official of such state or political subdivision, to levy or increase taxes.":
Now, therefore,

      Be it resolved by the Senate of the State of Kansas, the House of Rep-
resentatives concurring therein: That the Kansas Legislature respect-
fully requests and petitions the Congress of the United States to propose
submission to the states for their ratification an amendment to the Con-
stitution of the United States of America to restrict the ability of the
United States Supreme Court or any inferior court of the United States
to mandate any state or political subdivision of the state to levy or increase
taxes; and

      Be it further resolved: That the Secretary of State is hereby directed
to send enrolled copies of this section to the President of the United
States; the President pro tempore of the United States Senate; the
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives; each member of
the Kansas Congressional Delegation; each member of the United States
Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th
Circuit and all federal district court judges for the district of Kansas; and
each member of the Kansas Supreme Court and the Kansas Court of
Appeals and all Kansas district court judges.

      Sec.  3. WHEREAS,  In Brown v. Board of Education, a unanimous
Supreme Court of the United States recognized that education is perhaps
the most important function of state and local governments; in Wisconsin
v. Yoder, the Supreme Court recognized that the provision of public
schools ranks at the very apex of the function of a state; in San Antonio
Independent School District v. Rodriquez, the Supreme Court refused
to invalidate the Texas system of financing its public schools opining that
education is one of the most important services performed by the state
and declining to intrude in an area which traditionally has been reserved
for state legislatures; and

      WHEREAS,  The architects of America's Constitution and Bill of
Rights constructed a unique form of federalism under which the people
delegated to the national government certain limited powers while re-
serving all other authority to the states and the people; the powers of the
two government levels were carefully balanced and each had distinct roles
with most day-to-day functions being left at the level closest to the people;
the founders expected state power to rival national power; and

      WHEREAS,  America's unique form of federalism worked for a while,
but has been severely eroded over the years; the states have become
enfeebled while the federal government has consolidated power and now
involves itself in every conceivable area of governance, including the most
local of concerns; nowhere is encroachment by the federal government
on states' rights more apparent than in the area of education, specifically
special education; and

      WHEREAS,  The states were and are well aware of the constitutional
obligation to provide public education for children with disabilities; many
of the states enacted constitutionally sound special education laws prior
to enactment in 1975 by Congress of Public Law 94-142, the Education
for All Handicapped Children Act, known since 1990 as the Individuals
with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA; nearly six million American
children receive special education services provided by the states at a cost
of almost $40 billion, only about $5.7 billion of which is federal money;
and

      WHEREAS,  Enactment of the IDEA transferred decisions about the
ways in which special education services would be provided from state
capitals to Washington, D.C.; in an effort to alleviate the intrusion that
transfer of control over special education had upon an area traditionally
reserved to the states, the Act authorized appropriation of a sum equal
to 40% of the average per pupil expenditure for general education pupils;
Congressional appropriations have never come near the authorization
level; and

      WHEREAS,  A recent report by the Kansas State Department of Ed-
ucation provided the Kansas Legislature with the estimated special edu-
cation expenditures in Kansas for fiscal year 2001; the report estimated
expenditures for special education in the amount of $483,300,437, and
was broken down by anticipated state, local, and federal aid percentages;
the report revealed that federal aid, including medicaid reimbursement
of approximately $16 million, would comprise only 11.7% of the total
expenditures for special education; if increased to the authorized 40%
level, federal aid would increase from $56,500,000 to $193,320,175; and

      WHEREAS,  The National Council on Disability recently reported
that many children with disabilities are receiving substandard schooling
because the states are not complying with federal rules on special edu-
cation; the response of officials at the U.S. Department of Education, the
federal agency responsible for overseeing compliance with the IDEA, was
predictable, not an assertion that the agency would make an intense effort
to get Congress to provide assistance to the states in the form of increased
dollars, at least to a level more nearly approaching the 40% level of ex-
penditures authorized for special education, but with a threat to be more
aggressive in monitoring and enforcing compliance; and

      WHEREAS,  In 1998, the Kansas Legislature adopted a concurrent
resolution memorializing the Congress to assume its fair share of the costs
of special education services by increasing funding to a level more nearly
approaching the level authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Ed-
ucation Act; and

      WHEREAS,  Kansas Congressman Jerry Moran took heed of the Kan-
sas Legislature's resolution and wrote a letter to President Clinton. The
letter, dated January 20, 2000, and fully endorsed by the Kansas Legis-
lature, contained the following excerpts:

            "Dear Mr. President:

            As you prepare for the State of the Union address and your budget
      submission to Congress, I encourage you to place a high priority on
      funding special education. The greatest issue facing Kansas Governor
      Bill Graves and the Kansas Legislature is finding the necessary re-
      sources to meet the needs of Kansas students.

            "Congress first mandated special education in 1975 and pledged to
      assist state and local governments by paying 40 percent of the costs of
      educating students with disabilities. Unfortunately, the federal govern-
      ment has never met its obligation.

            "Mr. President, I share your goals of improving school facilities,
      hiring and training more teachers and making better technology avail-
      able to students, but rather than rolling out a list of expensive new
      federal programs, let's go back and fulfill a commitment made 25 years
      ago to fund special education. Doing so would free up billions of dollars
      nationwide that states could use to address their own unique education
      needs.

            "As you prepare your budget and as you prepare to address the
      nation, I hope you will make special education your priority. It is im-
      portant, not only to those children who participate in special education
      programs, but to every child whose education is so important to the
      future of our country."; and

      WHEREAS,  Kansas Congressman Dennis Moore also recognizes that
Kansas and the other states are struggling under the burden of exploding
special education costs as evidenced by the following remarks made at a
Kansas PTA rally:

            "When I visited the school districts in the Kansas Third, I did not
      find one local district that did not receive funding from the Individuals
      with Disabilities Education Act. Nor did I find any school district that
      disagreed with its goals.

            "Instead, what I did discover in every district was a school board
      struggling to find the fiscal resources to comply--fiscal resources that
      Congress promised when it passed the bill, but has never provided.

            "Many of my colleagues have lauded this year's increase from 9%
      of the total cost for special education in the U.S. to 12% in FY 2000.
      But guess what? When Congress passed the legislation in 1975, it com-
      mitted to fund 40% of the cost. Congress has never come close to
      meeting this goal, and that has left local school districts to pick up the
      difference. Increasing the federal appropriations would free up state
      and local education dollars without adding additional federal red tape
      and bureaucracy."; and in a letter to President Clinton, Congressman
      Moore wrote:

            "In 1975, Congress agreed to fund 40 percent of the excess costs to
      educate children with disabilities. For fiscal year 2000, Congress
      funded 12 percent. Last year I visited every school district in my con-
      gressional district and met with parents, administrators, teachers and
      school board members. I found that each school district receives fund-
      ing from IDEA, and every school district agrees with its goals. But I
      also discovered that every district was struggling to find the fiscal re-
      sources to meet these goals--resources that Congress promised when
      it passed the bill, but has never provided. Every child in our country
      deserves to be educated, and it should be a federal commitment of
      the first order that we support our school districts in this endeavor.
      Keeping our promise to local schools would free up state and local
      education dollars without adding additional federal red tape and bu-
      reaucracy."; and

      WHEREAS,  The Kansas Legislature has devoted considerable effort
and a great amount of time during the 2000 session in an attempt to
address concerns regarding delivery of special education services and to
find some solution to the rapidly escalating costs of providing such serv-
ices; in the course of its study of the matter, the Legislature received
reports from the Kansas State Department of Education and from em-
battled providers of special education services in the field; the reports
were overwhelmingly disturbing and revealed that from 1990 through
1998, Kansas realized a 29% increase in the number of pupils with disa-
bilities, a 32% increase in the number of professionals, and a 150% in-
crease in the number of paraprofessionals; one special education coop-
erative reported a 48% increase in expenditures for special education
from the 1990-91 school year through the 1999-2000 school year; school
districts are experiencing continuing growth in the population of children
with severe disabilities, in the number of behavior disordered pupils and
in other high need populations of children, such as children with autism
or traumatic brain injury, who require high cost programs; the 1997 IDEA
amendments added several new specific disabling conditions; the quality
and quantity of special education teachers is a major concern as the
growth in numbers of pupils and severity of disabilities increase and the
pool of trained teachers decreases; special education professionals face
stress, burnout and increased paperwork even though the 1997 amend-
ments to the IDEA were supposed to reduce paperwork; one director of
special education services stated that he had been a special education
professional since 1972 and was more worried than in his whole career
about the increasing demands on the system to serve more pupils, with
more severe disabilities, to higher standards than ever before, with fewer
trained, skilled teachers and decreasing financial resources; and

      WHEREAS,  On February 7, 2000, President Clinton sent Congress a
$1.84 trillion budget proposal that devotes more than $300 billion to more
than 100 new programs; while many of the centerpieces of the budget
proposal may be praiseworthy, legislators and school officials in Kansas
would rather the Congress, in drafting its own spending proposals, honor
the commitment to fully fund the federal share of special education costs
before adopting any spending proposal that is dedicated to new programs:
Now, therefore,

      Be it resolved by the Senate of the State of Kansas, the House of Rep-
resentatives concurring therein: That the Legislature, in recognition
that children with disabilities have a fundamental right to be provided
with a free and appropriate public education and that the Congress of
the United States has enacted a federal law for the purpose of assisting
the states in honoring that fundamental right and in the belief that pro-
jected federal budget surpluses present the federal government with the
tremendous opportunity to assume its fair share of the costs of providing
special education services, hereby strongly urges the President and the
Congress of the United States to put a new twist on the old joke about
federal officials appearing in a state and saying "we're here to help" by
increasing funding for the provision of special education services for chil-
dren with disabilities from the average federal share of 12% nationwide
to the 40% level authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education
Act; and

      Be it further resolved: That the Secretary of State is hereby directed
to send enrolled copies of this section to The Hon. William Clinton at
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C. 20500; The Hon. Richard Ri-
ley at U.S. Dept. of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. NW, Washington,
D.C. 20202; The Hon. Pat Roberts at 302 Hart Senate O.B., Washington,
D.C. 20510; The Hon. Sam Brownback at 303 Hart Senate O.B., Wash-
ington, D.C. 20510; The Hon. Jerry Moran at 1519 Longworth House
O.B., Washington, D.C. 20515; The Hon. Jim Ryun at 330 Cannon House
O.B., Washington D.C. 20515; The Hon. Dennis Moore at 506 Cannon
House O.B., Washington, D.C. 20515; The Hon. Todd Tiahrt at 428
Cannon House O.B., Washington, D.C. 20515; The Hon. James Jeffords
at 728 Hart Senate O.B., Washington, D.C. 20510; The Hon. Edward
Kennedy at 315 Russell Senate O.B., Washington, D.C. 20510; The Hon.
Ted Stevens at 522 Hart Senate O.B., Washington, D.C. 20510; The Hon.
Robert Byrd at 311 Hart Senate O.B., Washington, D.C. 20510; The Hon.
Arlen Specter at 711 Hart Senate O.B., Washington, D.C. 20510; The
Hon. Tom Harkin at 731 Hart Senate O.B., Washington, D.C. 20510;
The Hon. William Goodling at 2107 Rayburn House O.B., Washington,
D.C. 20510; The Hon. William Clay at 2306 Rayburn House O.B., Wash-
ington, D.C. 20515; The Hon. Bill Young at 2407 Rayburn House O.B.,
Washington, D.C., 20515; The Hon. David R. Obey at 2314 Rayburn
House O.B., Washington, D.C. 20515; Gore 2000 Incorporated at P.O.
Box 330087, Nashville, TN 37203; Bush for President Incorporated at
301 Congress Avenue, Suite 200, Austin, TX 78701; National Conference
of State Legislatures at 444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 515, Wash-
ington, D.C. 20001, and at 1560 Broadway, Suite 700, Denver, CO 80202;
American Legislative Exchange Council at 910 17th Street N.W., Fifth
Floor, Washington, D.C. 20006; Council of State Governments at Hall of
the States, Suite 401, Washington, D.C. 20001; National Governors' As-
sociation at Hall of States, 444 North Capitol Street, Washington, D.C.
20001.