Salina Legislators Come Home For Q & A
Todd Pittenger - Sat 10:07 AM 02/23/2013
Salina area legislators answered questions during a Saturday morning event.
Senator Tom Arpke and Representatives Steven Johnson, Diana Dierks, and J.R. Claeys were all home for a meet and greet legislative update event.
Over 50 people gathered to ask questions and learn about the latest events happening in the legislature. Questions ranged from issues like term limits, campaign finance, gun laws, liquor laws, and funding and taxes.
USD 305 Superintendent Bill Hall cited several proposed bills, including proposals to take the courts out of questioning school funding, and changing the Kansas constitution to make the legislature the sole body in determining funding. He said "it appears there is an all out attack on public education, or eliminating any opposition".
Senator Arpke said that the judicial branch has "over stepped its authority". He said that he is "very irritated" the "court is demanding more money". He said "the legislature should control the purse strings". Arpke added that a new funding formula is needed.
Representative Diana Dierks disagreed. She said "it does seem that the legislature is attacking schools". She believes that the fnance formula is it stands is working. "We dont know even know yet what the governor's education funding proposal is going to be, education funding is not yet factored in, so we shouldn't be changingthe formula now".
A couple of Salina Dillon's grocery store employees asked about a proposal to allow grocery and convenience stores to sell wine and liquor, and to sell alcohol on Sundays.
Representative J.R. Claeys supports the proposal saying "our liquor laws are out dated". He went on to say that grocery and convenience stores need to have it because it "increases sales and revenues".
Senator Arpke and Representative Johnson both said they oppose changing the law. Johnson said his opinion might be different if he represented more of Salina, but he has heard from the small communities in his area, and from Ellsworth, overwhelming opposition to the idea. Arpke opposes it for several reasons. He said that he was involved in a car crash involving a drunk driver. And he said that he believes the proposed change would be "devastating" to small town and family owned liquor stores.
Other smilar legislative updates are scheduled for March 23rd and May 18th.