Clancy Holeman told Riley County commissioners Thursday they should still oppose a proposed state Senate bill, but not for the reasons he initially brought forth.
Holeman, county counselor, said the commission does not oppose all of proposed Senate Bill 190. The bill, if passed, would remove funding avenues for road and bridge projects by local governments. SB 190 takes language from two current bills that dictate how county governments operate and would ultimately replace them if passed and the other bills repealed.
However, at an intergovernmental luncheon Monday, he told local leaders the biggest issue was in Section 3 of the bill, which he said repeals the local ad valorem tax reduction fund and the city and county revenue sharing fund.
At the meeting Thursday, he said he misinterpreted the bill on first reading, and talked with the Kansas Association of Counties. He said after speaking with representatives from the association and rereading the bill, he saw the bill does retain a form of city and county revenue sharing.
According to the bill, the money — $27 million taken from counties and cities — would be transferred from the state general fund back to the local fund in 2026. The state treasurer would pay the amounts “to the several county treasurers on January 15 and on July 15.”
Under the plan until 2026, cities and counties would submit their plans for expansion, modernization or improvements of roads or bridges to the secretary of transportation that might be approved. If approved, the secretary would distribute funds in the fiscal year the construction begins.
Holeman said he was cynical about the county receiving the funds it deserves in 2026, which Commissioner John Ford agreed with, noting the money would have to be redistributed among all the counties at that point.
Holeman also said having the money away from the counties that long harms the counties.
“We have reasons on merits to oppose this,” he said.
At the meeting, the board also approved renewing a contract for the health department.
Jennifer Green, director of the health department, brought the Outreach, Prevention and Early Intervention contract to the board for approval.
The contract with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment gives the county $212,000 for a year for its Growing Great Kids program. The program, she said, includes intensive home visits for one to five years to help mothers bond with their infants. She said it connects parents with outreach services as needed, and helps with resources for new parents as well as looks for signs of abuse.
The other half of the $212,000 the contract requires as a match will come out of the annual budget, Green said.