Kansas Bldg. Indus. Workers Comp. Fund v. StateAnnotate this Case
Plaintiffs, who were required to pay fees to a State agency in order to practice their trade or transact business in Kansas, brought suit challenging a 2009 appropriations bill that directed the transfer of moneys into the State General Fund from various State agency fee fund accounts into which Plaintiffs had paid fees. Plaintiffs sought a finding that the legislation directing the fee fund transfers was unconstitutional. The district court dismissed the suit, ruling (1) Plaintiffs did not have standing to sue because the moneys were taken from the agencies and not from the individuals that paid fees into the agencies’ accounts; and (2) Plaintiffs’ complaints were required to be addressed under the Kansas Judicial Review Act (KJRA). The Court of Appeals reversed, concluding (1) Plaintiffs had standing because they had been uniquely damaged by the transfer of funds; and (2) Plaintiffs were not required to bring their claims under the KJRA because the agencies had no authority under the KJRA to grant the relief sought. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Plaintiffs have suffered a cognizable injury, which injury is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct; and (2) the issue in this case does not present a nonjusticiable political question. Remanded.