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Lawmakers Approve Bill to Boost Kansas Highway Patrol Numbers

Photo by Stephen Koranda

Kansas lawmakers have approved a bill that would increase vehicle registration fees to help fund the Kansas Highway Patrol. Republican Representative Virgil Peck opposed the move, because he says instead of adding a new $3.25 fee they could divert existing registration fees.

“We have a way to fund it other than this increase. I do not support increasing vehicle registration fees on Kansas vehicle owners by nearly $10 million,” says Peck.

Supporters say the extra funding will help increase the number of state troopers and support the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center. Republican Representative Blaine Finch says the highways in his home of Franklin County have been affected by the trooper shortage.

“We had two troopers who would handle helping motorists, traffic enforcement, drug intervention along I-35. We now have zero,” says Finch.

The bill passed the House on a 92-27 vote, sending it to Governor Sam Brownback for consideration.

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