As I write this newsletter Friday, I have just come out of the House chambers. The House passed, by a vote of 64-57, Senate Bill 7, a block-grant educational funding bill, which throws out our 23-year-old school funding legislation which has been amended at different times for different issues.
I voted against SB 7, after visiting with school districts and constituents of the 117th District and their concerns about how this legislation could affect our rural school's equalization funding that helps keep them open.
Our current K-12 school funding accounts for just more than 50 percent of our state's budget. We know educating the young people of our state is one of the most important things we do with our hard-earned tax dollars. Having said that, we had approximately three and a half days to discuss and vent this legislation that will affect every school and county in our state.
* Dr. Alan Snodgrass of Jetmore and Jason Snodgrass of Dodge City were in the Capitol to set in on testimony and to deliver written comments in support for House Concurrent Resolution 5010, regarding making application to the U.S. Congress, to call a constitutional convention of the states for the consideration of amendments to the U.S. Constitution under Article V of the U.S. Constitution related to curbing power and jurisdiction of the federal government. To date, 26 states have passed resolutions, and at least 38 states would have to ratify the change.
* Richard Wenstrom of Kinsley and president of the Board of Directors of the Water Protection Association of Central Kansas (Water PACK), a private non-profit association of approximately 500 agricultural producers and related agribusiness, delivered testimony on SB52.
If passed, it would allow the chief water engineer to order augmentation of water as an option of impairment issues. The Rattle Creek sub-basin irrigator producer members upstream of the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Big Bend GMD No. 5, Department of Agriculture and our Kansas farm organizations are also proponents of the bill.
Rep. John Ewy, R-Jetmore, represents the 117th District in the Kansas House.