Commission seeks better strategy for lobbying

By Kristina Jackson

Following the Northeast Kansas County Commissioners’ brainstorming and cooperative planning meeting Tuesday, the Riley County Commission is discussing how to make more impact with state legislators.

“We need a different strategy,” said commissioner Bob Boyd.

At its regular meeting Thursday, the commission pondered how to better lobby for or against legislation —after some bills it opposes moved forward in the Kansas legislature.

Senate Bill 298, for example, is headed for the Senate floor. That’s the bill that would eliminate Kansas’ mortgage registration fees.

The bill is still alive and well despite testimony from many Kansas county officials, including commissioner Dave Lewis, that it would hurt counties financially.

“Some legislators are not interested in hearing from counties,” said Riley County counselor Clancy Holeman.

One proposal that arose from the Northeast Kansas Commissioners’ meeting was to gather larger groups of county officials to visit Topeka for one-on-one time with more legislators than any could reach individually.

“It may be a little more impactful,” said Lewis.



Although Fake Paddy’s Day might mean a busy time for the Riley County Police Department, county attorney Barry Wilkerson said it has very little impact on his office.

He said the key is for area agencies, including his office and RCPD, to keep a lid on the situation.

“We hope for no major increase, but when you have that much alcohol consumed, domestic violence can increase, (and) the potential for sexual assault can increase,” Wilkerson said.

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