AG Schmidt says settling foster-care lawsuit is a step in the right direction

Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 5:34 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Attorney General Derek Schmidt says settling a recent foster-care lawsuit is a step in the right direction.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says a class-action lawsuit was filed and resolved on Wednesday, July 8, that challenged the constitutionality of the Kansas foster care system.

“These sorts of lawsuits that seek public policy changes through the courts rather than through ordinary democratic processes cost taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees and distract from the critical business of operating and improving public services,” says Schmidt. “For that reason, I consider settling this lawsuit a step in the right direction so the state can refocus its full attention on remedying shortcomings in the foster care system and improving services for foster kids rather than defending against protracted litigation.”

Schmidt says he is grateful for a bipartisan review of the case and input from members of the State Finance Council as well s te assurances the Council received from the Department for Children and Families.

According to DCF, the settlement’s requirements can be met without substantial new expenditures by the state.

“While I never favor subjecting the state to ongoing supervision by federal courts and third-party monitors,” says Schmidt. “I am hopeful the reasonably narrow supervision authorized by this settlement will minimize the intrusion on state decision-making.”

Schmidt says the settlement was approved unanimously by the State Finance Council Wednesday afternoon and filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas at about 7 p.m. Wednesday.

According to the Attorney General, the settlement is still subject to review and approval by the court. The case is Katharyn McIntyre et al v. Howard et al, Case No. 2:18-cv-02617-DDC-GEB.

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