Legislative Update - Oct 24, 2019

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A popular credit card advertisement uses the tag line “What’s in your wallet?” While I don’t have a Hollywood celebrity to deliver my message, I do have a similar question… “What’s on your ballot?” 

Kansas has an important vote coming up this November, and it doesn’t have anything to do with any candidate for office. You probably haven’t heard much about it, but the result could significantly impact rural Kansas! This has motivated me to provide Kansans with some facts behind the topic and how it could affect our state. 

When you vote in this year’s general election, be prepared to answer a question that will change our Kansas Constitution. The question will ask to remove the current requirement for adjusting the Federal Census data. 

In a nutshell, the decennial census counts everyone where they live at the time of the census.  This includes those who may be at that location only temporarily, such as college students or military personnel. The required adjustment, added to the Kansas Constitution by the people in 1988, is performed by the Kansas Secretary of State (KSOS) which contacts all of these temporary residents to determine their permanent residence. 

Why was this adopted in the first place? 

The adjustment attempts to count residents of Kansas in the location they consider their permanent home, and subsequently where they are - or would likely be - registered to vote. The results of the adjusted census are used to draw the boundaries for legislative and state board of education districts, which must be created with relatively equal populations per district. 

What exactly happens as a result of the adjustment? 

Analyzing the data from the 2010 Census Adjustment Report*, the discussion really comes down to college institutions; Fort Leavenworth, Fort Riley, and McConnell AFB make up merely 940 of the 42,113 adjusted population. However, looking the counties WITH military or educational institutions, almost 80% of the adjustment comes from Riley and Douglas counties – Kansas State University and Kansas University. The discussion really comes down to college institutions; Fort Leavenworth, Fort Riley, and McConnell AFB make up merely 940 of the 42,113 adjusted population. 

If the ballot question passes and the adjustment requirement is removed from the Kansas Constitution, many Kansas counties without a college institution will lose 2-5% of their official population. Nearly 80% of the adjustment gains come from Riley and Douglas counties – Kansas State University and Kansas University, which would gain approximately 23,000 residents. These two counties would effectively gain an entire seat in the House of Representatives, and about two-fifths of a Senate seat. Other counties with colleges would see an increase, as well.

Below is a graphic from the 2010 Census Adjustment report, showing the net gain or loss as a result of the adjustment. Removing the adjustment could likely reverse this map. 

Why is the adjustment removal being proposed? 

The reason for wanting to remove the adjustment can probably be boiled down to two things – time and money. No doubt the entire department looks forward to this process like they would multiple root canals, but is it still important enough to continue? 

Let’s look at some facts. 

Yes, the adjustment certainly takes time and money. In 2010, nearly 120,000 individuals out of our state population of 3 million needed clarification on their permanent residency. Over 70,000 of those did not need adjusted – in other words they opted to have their permanent residence recorded where they were counted. (Many military fall into this category.) More than 42,000 required an adjustment for their permanent home, and about 6,000 had unresolved phone/address problems and could not be contacted. 

Information from the KSOS claims the adjustment only impacted 13,000 people. I assume that number comes from the 2010 report that subtracted 13,836 people completely – meaning they stated their permanent residence was somewhere outside the state of Kansas. (Most of which were college students.) Subtract that number from the total adjusted, and there were over 28,000 residents of Kansas directly affected by the adjustment. 

Last February, the KSOS estimated the cost of the adjustment to be approximately $834,000. However, the 2010 total project cost was under $200,000 and that included the salary of existing staff that worked on the project, which accounted for $77,731 of the total reported cost. This expense also occurs only once every 10 years. 

Is that enough people to matter? Is the monetary savings worth it? 

That’s the exact question each of us must decide before we vote this November! 

Some proponents claim the adjustment is antiquated, but I would say it is more about accuracy in your representation in the Capitol. 

If you feel that removing the adjustment and counting students where they attend college is an accurate representation of the state, you should vote in favor. 

If you feel college students should be counted at the place they consider their permanent residence, you should vote no on your ballot. 

*The full 2010 Census Adjustment Report can be found online at: http://www.sos.ks.gov/forms/elections/2010CensusAdj.pdf

LEGISLATIVE

From the Senate - Apr 11, 2019

April 5, 2019 was first adjournment. The legislature will return on May 1 for veto session. Here are a few of the bills that passed last week that may be of interest to the 40th District. H Sub SB16, House Substitute for Senate Bill 16 is the school finance plan that appropriates... [More]

Legislative Update - Apr 11, 2019

Do kids play musical chairs anymore? I remember it vividly from my childhood days... along with games like "Red Rover" that could get a little wild and crazy to the point that it wasn't a matter of "if" you got hurt, it was a matter of "how bad". Players would eagerly anticipate... [More]

From the Senate - Apr 4, 2019

This last week was a busy week. The Senate passed 42 bills in 3 days. Governor Kelly raises income taxes on middle class families and small businesses as well as large corporations that do business in foreign countries. When Governor Kelly vetoed SB 22 she broke several campaign... [More]

Legislative Update - Apr 4, 2019

Amid the headlines of school finance, tax veto, budget, gun bill, and abortion reversal pills, there was another important story that didn’t seem to get much coverage. The legislature passed a constitutional amendment! No, it does NOT have to do with school finance.... [More]

Legislative Update - Mar 28, 2019

This week, I’d like to share with you the results of a survey I performed regarding several important issues we are looking at in the legislature right now. The survey was statewide, but for the purposes of this report I have eliminated any responses that came from outside... [More]

From the Senate - Mar 28, 2019

This was the last week for committees to meet. The most important thing we did this week was passing the budget out of the Senate. Some of the highlights are: Sub SB75 K-12, school funding, which includes over $4 billion.  Part of the funding is an inflation factor of $92.7... [More]

From the Senate - Mar 21, 2019

SB 142 passed out of the Senate this week and has headed to the House for debate. This bill appropriates funds to the K-12 base aid for FY 2020 and FY 2021. The legislation supplements the state’s $525 million, five-year investment that passed last year, with a series... [More]

Legislative Update - March 21, 2019

You know, the legislative session is kind of like the Daytona 500… 190 laps of driving in circles –  maybe a little bumping and banging, but for the most part you’re just trying to hold your own and not get caught up in any big wrecks. But in the last... [More]

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COURT

Traffic Court September-December

Forman, David Scott, Miami Fla, driving 78 mph in a 50 mph zone. Fines $177 Court Cost $108. Hagan, Audrey Ann, Columbia Mo, driving 78 mph in a 65 mph zone. Deferred. Court Cost $108. Pfeffer, Samuel Tyler, Sharon Springs, Reckless Driving.  Bench Trial – Not... [More]

Traffic Court up to September 2019

Turner, Philip Russell II, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred adjudication, court costs $108. Patton, Amanda, driving 93 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred adjudication, court costs $108. Ramey, Tyler Ray, failure to stop or obey railroad crossing signal, fines $195, court... [More]

Wallace County District Court Sentencings

On May 15th, Vance Diamond Halsey appeared in the Wallace County District Court with court appointed attorney, Christopher Rohr, Colby for sentencing in the matter of case 2019-CR-03.  Halsey was charged with Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer on March 12, 2019, ... [More]

Traffic Court for May-June 2019

May Traffic Report Thomas, Dyami R, Bellingham, Wash, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $105, court cost $108. Araujo Pompa, Almedio, Coral Gables, Fla, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $105, court cost $108. Lennon, Jake Owen, Pittsburg, Penn, driving 93 mph... [More]

Traffic Court for April 2019

James Manuel Phillips, Gardner, Colo, driving 77 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $57 and court costs $108. Kenzie Marie Spreier, Colby, Kans, diving 80 in a 65 mph zone, fines $75 and court costs $108. Erick Edward Jarosz, Canon City, Colo, driving 84 mph in a 65 mph zone,... [More]

Brandon and Fugate Sentenced

Jonathan Brandon appeared in Wallace County District Court on April 10th, 2019, with his court appointed attorney, Steve Cott, Garden City, for sentencing in cases 17 CR 51 and 17 CR 58. Each case charged Brandon with Distribution of Methamphetamine within 1000 feet of a school,... [More]

Traffic Court reports Apr 11, 2019

Chandler, Garrett Scott, Pueblo, Colo, driving 75 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $69, court costs $108. Palmier, Joshua Quayshun, Birmingham, Ala, driving 84 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $99, court costs $108. Chavez, Brenda Icilice, Denver, Colo, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone,... [More]

March District Court

On March 13th, 2019 Charlene Valdez appeared in Wallace County District Court with court appointed attorney Leslie Beims, Goodland in the matter of case number 2017 CR 42. Valdez had been charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, within 1,000’ of a school,... [More]

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NEWS

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Sharon Springs Wildcats Take On Weskan Coyotes

Jace Mackley shoots a basket for Weskan in the game between Wallace County High School and Weskan High School last Friday.  Weskan Boys won 71 - 51. JC Allen (WHS) shoots over Brookley Dinkel   (WCHS) during last week’s game.  The Lady Wildcats won... [More]

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FHSU Students Earn Fall Semester Honors

Grady Hammer and  Dalen See are among the 1,596 students named to the Deans Honor Roll for the fall 2019 semester by deans at Fort Hays State University. The Deans Honor Roll includes undergraduate students only. To be eligible, students must have completed 12 or more... [More]

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KSU Students Earn Fall Semester Honors

More than 4,220 Kansas State University students have earned semester honors for their academic performance in the fall 2019 semester. Students earning a grade point average for the semester of 3.75 or above on at least 12 graded credit hours receive semester honors along with... [More]

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Sexson Returns From Retreat For Rural Leaders

Lissa Sexson of the Wallace County Visitors Bureau attended the 27th Retreat for Rural Leaders facilitated by the Kansas Sampler Foundation and held at The Barn Bed and Breakfast Inn near Valley Falls. Lissa was one of 34 people from across the state to attend. The group was... [More]

My Favorite Hiding Spot

Sandi Kerr-Jordan’s 8th graders discus hiding spots as they learn about interactions between the Jews and the Nazis during World War II. Here are some of her student’s personal hiding spots - My hiding place is my room. It is really the only place in my house... [More]

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Acoustic Eidolon to Perform

Back for a third time in recent years, Acoustic Eidolon will perform for the Western Plains Arts Association, Sunday, Jan. 26 at the Wallace County High School Auditorium, 521 North Main, Sharon Springs. The program begins at 2 p.m. Mountain (3 p.m. Central).  Admission... [More]

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PBR’s Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Returns to Wichita on April 25

For the seventh time in as many years, the Professional Bull Riders Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour (PWVT) will travel to Wichita, Kansas, with the Wichita Classic, set to buck into INTRUST Bank Arena on April 25. For one night only, some of the best bull riders in the world... [More]

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Happy Birthday Barbara Engel!

Happy Birthday Barbara Engel!

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BUGLE NOTES

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Bugle Notes - Jan 16, 2020

This Sunday, the Fort Wallace Museum is looking forward to hosting Greg and Cee Heller from Kannapolis for the screening of the new documentary film “Fort Harker: Gateway Post to the Frontier.” Please join us at 2:00 pm MT for the 45-minute film, followed by discussion... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Jan 9, 2020

Happy New Year! The Fort Wallace Memorial Association is looking forward to a fun and full 2020; we invite everyone to join in and help make it our most successful year ever!  There are two ways to join our organization. “The Fort Wallace Memorial Association”... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Dec 12, 2019

Christmas arrived at the Fort Wallace Museum this past Sunday, with the annual “Candlelight Christmas” service, followed by a festive gathering inside the main building. The 1888 Bethany Lutheran Church was filled to capacity for the traditional service. Worship was... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Dec 5, 2019

In 1865, David Butterfield raised money from New York investors to create Butterfield’s Overland Despatch Stage Line along the Smoky Hill Trail - the shortest route from commerce centers near Atchison, Kansas to the gold fields near Denver Colorado. In 2019, Butterfield’s... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Nov 7, 2019

On Saturday, the Fort Wallace Museum welcomed author Chuck Warner and his wife Karen to the Museum to discuss his new book “Birds, Bones and Beetles,” about his grandfather Charles “Bunk” Bunker, who was a KU Naturalist that explored Wallace County and... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Oct 31, 2019

The 2019 Smoky Hill Trail Conference held at the Fort Wallace Museum is now in the rearview mirror! The event hosted 75 folks, including several national names in Western History research, as the role of Fort Wallace in Trail history was explored. Tours, lectures, networking,... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Oct 17, 2019

The Smoky Hill Trail Conference weekend is here, and we are excited to host folks from all over Kansas, Colorado and beyond! The theme of the weekend is “Fort Wallace - the Fightin’est Fort on the Smoky Hill Trail,” and presentations will explore the events,... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Oct 10, 2019

This Saturday night, we are delighted to welcome Rachel Garcia and Thu Tran “The Singer and the Songwriter” to the Fort Wallace Museum for an evening of live music at 7pm as part of the High Plains Public Radio Artists Series! The Singer and The Songwriter is the... [More]

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