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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Senate rejects bill that would allow voters to seek city-county consolidation

BY BRENT D. WISTROM
Eagle Topeka bureau

The Senate today rejected a bill that would have allowed 10 percent of city or county voters to trigger a study of consolidating city and county governments, an issue that has been repeatedly debated in Wichita and Sedgwick County.

The 18-15 vote likely puts an end to the idea for the year.

The bill would have required city or county governments to study consolidation if 10 percent of city or county voters submitted a valid petition to county election officials. It also would have allowed a city or county commission to pass a resolution to start a study.

Currently, city and county consolidations must be approved by the Legislature.

Sen. Dick Kelsey, R-Goddard, said the move could help small cities and counties in western Kansas.

“I do not favor consolidation for Sedgwick County,” he said.

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