Legislation enabling the Kansas State Fair Board to create a nonprofit corporation to accept major gifts and donations sailed through the State House of Representatives Tuesday, 122-0.
House Bill 2215 had not been viewed as controversial and was put on the consent calendar in the House. The bill heads to the Senate.
State Fair officials said having a 501(c)(3) will give them a better option for receiving donations in a capital campaign. The Bison Arena, built in 1937, needs to be updated to meet fire code and will have limited use for the 2019 Kansas State Fair, according to State Fair General Manager Robin Jennison. The fair also is looking at developing a multi-use arena that could accommodate a broad range of events on the fairgrounds, according to Jennison.
House Bill 2215 was requested by State Rep. Joe Seiwert, R-Pretty Prairie, on behalf of State Reps. Jason Probst, D-Hutchinson, and Paul Waggoner, R-Hutchinson.