Constitutional amendment on November 5th ballot for Kansas residents to eliminate state census chang
PITTSBURG, Kan. — There’s a constitutional amendment on the November 5th ballot for Kansas residents that deals with how the state adjusts census numbers.
The goal of the amendment is to stop the state from adjusting census numbers for each U.S. Census. The reason for the adjustment was initially to help rural counties, primarily in western Kansas.
What happens right now, is, following the U.S. Census, the state of Kansas, at a cost of more than $800,000, does a recount of military personnel and college students. The way it works now, is, say a student is attending Pittsburg State, but they’re originally from, Dodge City. The census may have them listed as a Pittsburg resident, but Kansas, changes that and lists them as a Dodge City resident.
The state learned in the long run, it wasn’t helping rural communities, in fact, it was having the opposite affect, so now they’re changing it. Jeremy Johnson, Crawford County District 3 Commissioner says “The house and the senate in the Kansas legislature moved with a super majority in both of them which is what is required for a constitutional amendment, to remove the adjustment section, to where people are counted is what would, that would be the number that would be official to be recorded.”
The change would cause population shifts across the state for communities like Pittsburg, that have either college campuses or military bases. Johnson says that increase would be more significant for rural counties versus urban centers like Johnson County. “If there’s a bump of 2%, like that’s an enormous, like that shapes the potential for what we’re able to do, what we’re able to receive in federal funding.”
The change will also likely result in redistricting for legislative boundaries to accommodate the population shifts. Johnson says they don’t anticipate any major changes for county districts if the amendment is passed.
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