The Geary County Commission heard from several Kansas legislators during its weekly meeting Monday, including Lonnie Clark (R-Junction City).
One of the issues that came up during the panel, which was held with county department heads, was Medicaid expansion, which Clark is in favor of, though he expressed uncertainty over whether it would come before the legislature in an election year.
“I’m an advocate of Medicaid expansion,” he said. “I would like to see that pass.”
The passage of Medicaid expansion, he believes, could benefit Geary Community Hospital, which Clark said he was also an advocate for.
“I think this community needs that hospital and we need to keep working to keep it going,” Clark said. “I’ll do everything I can to make sure that happens.”
Commission Chair Charles Stimatze said he believed GCH would need more than Medicaid expansion if it hoped to make itself sustainable.
“We know it’s not going to save the hospital, but it will help the hospital,” he said. “So my takeaway on that is it’s going to be a good thing. But we know it’s not going to save the hospital ... it’s not going to save all rural hospitals either, but it will help.”
Clark also said he was glad to have a chance to answer questions for constituents about how Topeka operates.
“I said, don’t be alarmed if certain issues don’t come above the line,” he said. “It’s an election year. There are a lot of people in particular groups in Topeka, that will build coalitions to see that the things that they want to get those individuals elected will be the things that come across the line and we have an opportunity to vote on. So typically in the election years, the agenda is light. The — what we call feel good bills — will come in and come across. The ones that are going to be tough decisions for everybody may or may not come across. So I don’t want everybody to get their hopes up on a lot of different things.”
During the meeting, the commission also broke a three-way tie for Grandview Plaza City Council by drawing straws.
The tie was between Ron Woods, George Edmonson and Gary Sacher.
Woods and Sacher each ended up with short straws, meaning they will sit on the council come January.
Incumbent Honey Grant will also retain her position on the council, having won her re-election bid.