Topeka A Jayhawk license tag was unveiled today on the House floor by a representative who wants to see Kansas college alumni displaying their alma mater's colors on their motor vehicles.
A Leawood lawmaker is hoping March madness for Kansas University's basketball team will give his license tag bill an assist through the Kansas Legislature.
"I think it's time to send to send a strong message to Coach (Roy) Williams and the team that legislators strongly support their efforts," said Rep. David Adkins, R-Leawood.
The House gave preliminary approval this morning to Adkins' bill, which would allow the state to print up special mascot license plates containing the logos of public or private colleges and community colleges in the state. A final vote was to be taken later today.
Adkins, a former Kansas University student body president, said a school would need to get at least 500 requests for such tags for them to be created. He unveiled a prototype of a Jayhawk tag this morning.
The bill would allow an officially recognized foundation or alumni association of a public or private college in the state to sell certificates at a cost between $25 and $100 for the specialized plates.
After administrative costs are deducted, the remaining funds would go for programs at the institution that recognize academic achievement or excellence, such as scholarships, Adkins said.
Those who buy the certificates would show the certificate when they purchase their license plate at the county treasurer's office, he said.
But not everyone in the Senate is happy about seeing Jayhawks, Wildcats, Wheat Shockers or even Ichabods on license plates, said Sen. Ben Vidricksen, R-Salina, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee.
"It's not one of those sure-fire pieces of legislation," Vidricksen said Tuesday.
Vidricksen said many senators believe that license plates are designed to allow law enforcement officers to identify vehicles. He said there is a philosophical question about letting any entity use the tags to make money.
Supporters have estimated that KU could net as much as $440,000 annually from the tags.