State Senator Tim Huelskamp was in Liberal on Tuesday afternoon at the Rock Island Depot for a Legislative Forum put on by the Liberal Chamber of Commerce.
The forum lasted just under an hour. Huelskamp spent the first thirty minutes talking about the economy, possible state cuts, cap and trade, and coal power plants.
Last Friday, Representative Carl Holmes said in his Legislative Forum that new Governor Mark Parkinson is doing a good job of working together with the Republicans. Huelskamp echoed Holmes statement giving Parkinson credit.
Huelskamp did say that cuts are expected throughout the state, and that the legislature is going to have to prioritize.
"We are going to have to re-examine how we deliver every service in the state of Kansas, and there are a lot of very important services. But we are going to have to prioritize. In the last decade I have seen probably fifty, sixty, seventy new programs of various sizes, new programs that were created and all of the old ones that we are going to have to look at," Huelskamp said.
Local resident Jack Taylor asked Huelskamp about a lawsuit that several school districts in the state are teaming up to sue the legislature to get more funding. Taylor mentioned that there was a similar lawsuit that occurred around five years ago. Huelskamp said his main problem with this is that these school districts are using tax dollars to fund the lawsuits.
"There were tax dollars that were used last time for the lawsuit and that will happen again. I remember sitting on the senate floor trying to say hey if you want to sue the state as a local school district then that is one thing, but our state tax dollars and local tax dollars should not be used for that purpose," Huelskamp said.
USD 480 in Liberal chose to not participate in the lawsuit at a meeting in October.
Huelskamp also spoke strongly against cap and trade at the forum. He stated that even if you believe that global warming is man made that this piece of legislation will not solve the problem that it is intended for.
Huelskamp also added that the plans for the Holcomb coal power plant is still on schedule, but that he won't breathe easy about it until it is all finished and built, which is expected to be around a five year process. He added that President Barack Obama has shared two different views on coal power plants with one being that he wants to bankrupt them, and the other that he wants to help them succeed. Huelskamp said so far Obama seems to be allowing them to succeed for the time being.
Huelskamp is running for a spot in the United States Congress.