Area Legislators Speak On Finance and Gaming

By Jeff Gulley

A large crowd gathered Saturday morning at Osawatomie High School to speak with area legislators during the last of three breakfast meetings in Miami County.

Sen. Pat Apple and Reps. Jene Vickrey and Bill Feuerborn spoke to the crowd about state budget issues and other decisions yet to be made as the legislators enter the second half of their 2011 session.

Topics ranged from annexation laws and e911 issues to funding for schools and the Osawatomie State Hospital.

Speaking on the issue of Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposed budget cuts for schools in both this year and next year’s budget, Feuerborn said he is worried about the affect on local schools.

“We have cut $1.4 million out of Miami County Schools in the last three years,” he said. “We have laid off teachers and cut programs. If we can’t fund our schools the State of Kansas is in dire trouble.”

Sen. Apple spoke on the issue of budget cuts to Osawatomie State Hospital and the possible closure of the Kansas Neurological Institute and the burden that could put on the OSH facility.

“I am proud of the Osawatomie State Hospital employees who work so hard for their clients,” he said. “And now they are going to be asked to do more with less.”

The state hospital is facing a $500,000 budget cut in the Governor’s proposed budget. Rep. Feuerborn said he thinks the Rainbow Facility in Kansas City, Kan., will end up closing and a wing added to Osawatomie State Hospital.

The lawmakers also spoke on the potential for more gaming options in the state. Feuerborn said he was in favor of expanding horse and dog racing as an industry. Apple said he always voted against the expansion of gambling in Kansas.

Vickrey said the legislature heads back this week for the second half of the planned 80-day session but he thinks they may be in Topeka a little longer as budget issues will be decided.

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Posted by admin on Feb 23 2011. Filed under News and Updates, Photo Galleries. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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