GIRARD — Representative Adam Lusker (D-Frontenac) attended the regular meeting of the Crawford County Commission Friday to present an update on legislation from the 2017 session.
Lusker informed the commission about the tax revenue plan approved by the state legislature. He said the two main points of the plan were ending the march to zero income tax, and repealing the small business income tax exemption — or LLC Loophole.
He also said the legislature is currently waiting for the Kansas Supreme Court to make a ruling on an education bill, which included school finance. The court will decided if the funding for education is adequate.
The education bill passed during this years session removed the block grant system of funding, going back to a per pupil method. This caused concerns in the Southeast USD 247 school district, as they had seen a drop in enrollment since the block grants were put in place, and will lose a significant chunk of state funding.
Lusker reported that the bill sets money aside for “extraordinary needs” districts. These funds can be used to help soften the blow to Southeast.
The hearing on the education bill is scheduled for July 18. If the court finds that it is not adequate, the legislature could go into a special session.
Legislation did not get passed that would help the Camptown dog racing track get back into operation, but Lusker — who championed the cause — said he plans to keep working toward getting the track back up and running.
Overall, he said the ability to work together in Topeka is better than it has been in past years.
“It truly is a lot better than it has been the past few years,” he said. “There is a different tone, most people want to get things done.”
Lusker also asked about the intersection of Atkinson and 210th streets. He said foliage had grown up around the intersection, making it hard to see and creating the potential for a wreck.
The county only owns the southwest corner of the intersection, the other three fall into the City of Pittsburg’s jurisdiction.
The commission has also discussed getting a portion of 210th Street paved, of which half is owned by the City of Frontenac and the other half by Pittsburg. The commission believes the current condition of the mile stretch of 210th makes it hazardous.
Commissioner Tom Moody reported that he discussed the project with Frontenac City Administrator Brad Reams. He reported that Frontenac would pay their half, but wanted a price for materials.
Zoning Administrator Troy Graham presented a recommendation from the county zoning board, asking the commission to approve a conditional use permit for the Circle B. Ranch Event Center located on South 170th Street near Girard. The event center offers a large stage for live music entertainment, full kitchen and more.
The commission approved the conditional use permit and will sign a resolution at its next meeting.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.