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New funding issues arise in Topeka

We now are in the second week of the 2014 legislative session. My goal is to continue to focus on issues that grow the state and our economy.

As you are aware, the 2013 Legislature passed a two-year budget bill. Already the governor, during his State of the State Address, wants to add more money to fund all-day kindergarten, and add more money to the corrections budget.

The question then arises as to what will be cut in the education formula to fund $16.3 million a year for the all-day kindergarten.

Good for education

I am impressed with the technical education program the governor signed into law and the positive report by the Board of Regents.

Staff changing

My vice chairman, Sen. Jay Emler, was confirmed for appointment to the Kansas Corporation Commission. He will be greatly missed by all those he served. He is qualified to serve on the KCC.

Legislation to watch

A point of interest for all school districts would be to watch HB 2197 that amends a main section of K.S. 72-130. The Legislature has more important things to discuss than changing a law that worked for decades. They basically want to change the structure of who serves on the activities boards. This is a Johnson County issue.

Student opportunity

I encourage students from seventh to 12th grade who are interested in paging to contact my office. I have Feb. 10, 17 and 24, all Mondays, reserved for pages from District 40. It will be a trip you will remember, and the capitol building is beautiful with all the remodeling completed. The new north entrance is especially attractive and roomy.

Coming up

I plan to introduce a bill that would change the Kansas Constitution over the legality of raffles. The bill will be specific and to the point.

To pass, it will take a two-thirds from each chamber, and a majority vote from the public. Any questions or feedback will be appreciated.

Keeping in touch

Once a committee completes hearings and votes on a bill, if passed, it then will make its way to the Senate floor, and the full body will begin to debate and vote on the measure. Floor debates and votes will begin within the coming weeks.

If you are interested in tracking our work, visit www.kslegislature.org and click on the calendar tab at the top of the page to view the Senate's daily schedule. Votes for the day are listed under the heading Final Action on Bills and Concurrent Resolutions.

Sen. Ralph Ostmeyer, R-Grinnell, represents the 40th District.

ralph.ostmeyer@

senate.ks.gov