Here's an introduction to the committees on which I'm serving:
Rural Revitalization Committee:
This new committee is examining ways to spur economic and population growth in rural Kansas communities. Economies in rural counties are suffering, growth is stagnant and basic services are not on par with the rest of the state. These issues impact all Kansans -- including those in the 39th District. As a Johnson County legislator who grew up in a rural community, I bring a unique perspective to the committee.
The committee is addressing issues tied to depopulation of rural Kansas communities such as health care, broadband availability, sustainability of water resources, transportation networks and access to agricultural markets. The committee will also evaluate economic incentives such as the Rural Opportunity Zones to determine effectiveness and gaps in tax programs that attract business growth. You can follow committee developments here.
To understand the population decline in Kansas and its related challenges, we heard testimony in the committee provided by Wichita State sociologists and faculty members about population decline in rural Kansas. The map illustration below shows projections by county.