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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Legislators to visit for second forum

  • The local legislative delegation will be attending a second forum this session to talk policy and politics at the High Plains Journal.
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  • Members of the local state legislative delegation will be attending an open forum hosted by the Dodge City Area Chamber of Commerce this Saturday.
    Reps. Bud Estes, Ron Ryckman, Sr., and John Ewy and Sen. Garrett Love have been invited to attend the event at the High Plains Journal Communications Center at 1500 E. Wyatt Earp Blvd. from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
    This will be the second of three planned forums hosted by the Chamber.
    At the last meeting, members of the delegation spoke of their experiences in the capital, some of the major legislative issues in debate and federal issues that could have lasting effects on southwest Kansas.
    Time will be set aside to answer questions from the public. At the last forum, most of those questions focused on education funding. The legislators then, as now, await a ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court which may set a lower requirement for per-student funding in the state budget.
    Love, in particular, said such a ruling would undermine the constitutional powers of the Legislature. Ryckman said a ruling against the Legislature could spark a constitutional crisis.
    The legislators also spoke briefly about how a proposed federal classification of the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species could have a slowing effect on the west Kansas economy.
    Since the last open forum, Kansas made national headlines with a bill that would allow business owners like caterers, bakers and photographers to deny rendering services for gay marriage ceremonies under religious objections.
    The bill, HB 2453, passed the House in a vote of 72 to 49. Estes, Ewy and Ryckman voted for the bill. Estes and Ewy are also members of the Committee on Senate and State Affairs where the bill originated.
    The bill is expected to die in committee in the Senate before reaching a floor vote, though it will receive hearings.
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