Government relations at Sedgwick County plays an integral role in the legislative process by communicating issues of primary importance in Sedgwick County at the local, state and federal levels.
- Kansas Legislature - Kansas Senate & House of Representatives
- Governor's Budget
- Testimony for House Bill 2142
2021 Sedgwick County Legislative Platform
The following are legislative issues that will enable Sedgwick County to continue to maintain the high level of service and programs to the citizens of our County.
- Critical funding for mental/behavioral health issues affecting Sedgwick County:
- Strengthen and enhance the Medicaid safety net through enhanced rates for behavioral health. Fund a 4 percent rate increase for behavioral health reimbursement codes to address increasing costs of service.
- Address the behavioral health needs of the uninsured and underinsured. Restore the promise of Mental Health Reform and support an $8.2 million request for increased funding to the Community Mental Health Center system including COMCARE.
- Support Community Crisis Center Funding. Fund and enhance existing funding for community crisis centers.
- Support for regionalized state mental health facilities, including in Sedgwick County. State hospital beds are the inpatient safety net for individuals with severe mental illness in Kansas, a system of regional hospital beds will help address this critical need.
- Nuisance abatement authority for Sedgwick County: Support legislation allowing Sedgwick County, as an urban area, the authority to abate nuisance properties judiciously and in a manner consistent with constitutional due process.
- Charter Commission: Support legislation allowing Sedgwick County, as an urban area, to establish a charter commission specific to Sedgwick County.
- Broadband Access: Support legislation and/or state funding for expansion of broadband access in Sedgwick County.
- Right to Speedy Trial: Support legislation amending the speedy trial statute to give the District Attorney the continued authority to prosecute criminal cases backlogged because of the Covid pandemic.
SUPPORTING ISSUES OF IMPORTANCE
- Suspended Driver’s License Reform: Support the Sedgwick County District Attorney and the Sedgwick County Sheriff, and their respective organizations, in their efforts to reform the suspended driver’s license laws.
- Property Tax Bill: Support legislation that would do away with the property tax lid, but require a municipality to give written notice to taxpayers and a public hearing if there is an increase in the revenue neutral rate of taxes levied, with some adjustments to make the bill more workable for municipalities. Adjustments would include revisions to the timing of the public hearing and budget certification, as well as options for methods of notice of proposed tax changes.
- Department of Corrections:
- Oppose transferring functions of Corrections Juvenile Services to other Departments. Monitor and oppose any renewal of the Governor’s 2020 proposal to restructure DCF, if it includes the transfer functions of the Kansas Department of Corrections Juvenile Services to a Kansas Department of Human Services, or other Departments.
- Oppose reductions or sweeps of Evidence Based Juvenile Program Funding. Monitor the State budget process and oppose any proposal to sweep Evidence Based Juvenile Programs funds from the Kansas Department of Corrections.
- Support Increases to community based Adult Corrections Funding. Monitor the State budget process and support proposals to increase funding for community based programming for both state-mandated Community Corrections Adult Intensive Supervision Programs and Community Corrections Adult Residential Centers.
- Emergency Communications: Support legislation reclassifying 9-11 communications dispatchers as First Responders.
- Domestic Violence: Support legislation aimed at reducing recidivism in domestic violence offenders by requiring first time offenders to participate in the Kansas Batterer Prevention Program so long as such legislation does not create an unfunded mandate for local governments.
- Loan Forgiveness: Support legislation providing for a State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) that would enable licensed provider employees to receive student loan forgiveness if employed at a Community Mental Health Center (CMHC) or Local Health Department (LHD) through designation as working in a professionally underserved area.
- Problem Gambling and Addictions Grant Fund Expenditures: Support legislation that would transfer monies from the Problem Gambling and Addictions Fund to mental health, behavioral health and addictions programs in Sedgwick County. K.S.A. 79-4805 establishes a fund supported by casino revenues to treat alcoholism, drug abuse and other addictive behaviors.
- Scrap Metal Database: Support efforts by the Kansas Attorney General’s Office to adequately fund and maintain a scrap metal database as required by the Scrap Metal theft Reduction Act adopted in 2015.