Kansas lawmakers to hold public forum tonight

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Before Kansas lawmakers head back to Topeka on Monday, they’re inviting community members to attend a legislative public forum.

Rep. Brandon Whipple, D- Wichita, who chairs the South Central Legislative Delegation, said tonight’s forum is a good opportunity for constituents to ask questions and voice their concerns directly to lawmakers.

“Our job is to listen,” said Rep. Whipple.

Anyone interested in speaking must sign-up at the Sedgwick County Courthouse at 6 p.m. Each individual has two to three minutes to speak, depending on how many people are signed up to speak.

Whipple added that anyone uncomfortable speaking at the podium is welcome to talk one-on-one to a legislator after the forum ends.

Some of the issues lawmakers expect to hear about include health care and school funding.

According to Whipple, Kansas lawmakers know school funding will be a huge topic of discussion this 2018 session.

“The Supreme Court has ruled the latest legislative attempt at a funding formula unconstitutional and this term we need to fix that,” Whipple said.

Wichita lawmakers said they also want to focus on bringing more jobs to the community.

“What can we do to grow our economy and create an environment that’s going to produce more jobs for the south central area so that we can put people to work,” said Whipple.

There will be 10-20 lawmakers at tonight’s public forum, and they hope community members come out — as they believe public input is vital going into the new session.

“If there is an issue or a problem in our communities that a legislator may be unaware of — when those are brought to our attention, then it allows us to put bills in action to see if we could address those problems,” said Whipple.

The public forum is from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Sedgwick County Courthouse in downtown Wichita.