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Politics

Community Leaders To Share Hopes, Concerns For State Legislative Session

The South Central Delegation will hold its annual meeting Thursday at the Wichita State University Metroplex. Wichita leaders will share their agenda with state lawmakers before the 2013 legislative session starts Monday.

Fifty state representatives and senators make up the South Central Delegation and more than half are expected to be in attendance.

The meeting will begin with an in-depth look at the State General Fund. Lawmakers will also hear presentations from city and county leaders as well as Wichita Public Schools, WSU, Wichita Independent Business Association and others.

State Representative Pete Degraaf, who chairs the South Central Delegation says several topics are likely to be raised, including the city's concern about the Equus Beds.

"Watering is key and the farmers in western Kansas basically pull more water from that aquifer and so the water that comes from and into the Wichita system is also being used on a five-year plan to help the farmers through this drought," says Degraaf.

Degraaf says a recharge project for the bed is in jeopardy because finances are tight, and legislators will be looking for projects that can be put on hold or delayed.

Other topics include school funding and Wichita's Fair Fares program, which uses state funding to subsidize low cost air carriers.

The meeting is open to the public and begins at 1 pm Thursday, January 10 at the WSU Metroplex.