This is testimony submitted by the MainStream Coalition in opposition to SB 171, "Elections; municipalities and special districts; spring to fall; other changes." Here is the text of the bill as introduced, if you're into that sort of thing.
Testimony to Senate Committee on Ethics and Elections
Chair, Senator Mitch Holmes
Hearing: Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 9:30 am, 142-S
Darla Conner, Committee Assist, 785-296-7667, Darla.Conner@senate.ks.gov
Position – OPPOSE
Municipal Election Changes to Partisan Fall Cycle (SB171)
Chairman Holmes and Committee Members,
MainStream Coalition is a non-partisan, grassroots organization. We grew from an outpouring of concerns over the infringement of governmental separation of powers and of church and state. For over two decades now, we have worked to advocate for state policies that perpetuate good governance and traditional Kansas moderate values.
In alignment with our mission, the MainStream Coalition is opposed to SB171. In addition, the time frame between introduction and the testimony submission due date was insufficient to fully analyze this 54 page bill. Moreover, the components are similar enough from the previous legislative sessions and from boiler plate ALEC legislation that this conglomerate bill warrants cause for concern.
Problems among this bill’s components are numerous and include introducing partisan politics into school board elections, excluding military personnel from public service, overloading fall ballots with excessive choices discouraging informed voting.
- Opposes moving elections for cities and school district officials to November of even-numbered years and making the elections partisan;
- Opposes moving other local elections, including community college trustee elections, to November;
- Opposes moving all primaries to August;
- Opposes the unfunded mandate requiring all school districts make “suitable” school buildings available for polling places;
- Opposes making school board elections partisan;
- Opposes changing the transition of new school board members to mid-school year.
We urge this committee to oppose SB171.
Brandi Fisher, Executive Director
MainStream Coalition and Education Foundation