More than the elected leaders in Leavenworth County are watching bills being introduced to the Kansas Legislature, now in the second week of its 2013 session.
County Administrator Pat Hurley said Thursday he recently taught county department managers how to monitor legislation that might effect them coming from Topeka.
“I asked them particularly to do that and keep us advised of bills that would affect their operations,” he said.
Already, some had come forward, Hurley said. County Appraiser Bob Weber brought forward information on a bill that Hurley said is scheduled to be heard in committee next week. The aim of the bill, he said, is to force local jurisdictions to automatically lower property tax mill levies when valuations decrease.
“The Kansas Association of Counties opposes that,” Hurley said, as does the state’s organization of county appraisers.
It wasn’t the only potential change from the state that could affect counties. Though not officially introduced as a bill, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach did recently outline a plan to change municipal elections from April to November to coincide with the General Election. Kobach cited potential cost savings and a larger turnout as a result of the move, but Hurley said not everyone is on board yet.
“I know a lot of county clerks are concerned, our own included, that it just would be a tremendous amount of work to consolidate all of those elections at the same time,” he said.
Hurley said the department managers will continue to update him and the commission on legislation that could affect them. Hurley said he also asked members of the local delegation to Topeka to periodically update the commission.