Kansas legislator wants to consider drastically reducing number of counties

? A state lawmaker is calling for a feasibility study of drastically reducing the number of counties in Kansas for greater efficiency.

Democratic Sen. Chris Steineger of Kansas City has introduced a bill that would create a 12-member county consolidation commission made up of people from all over the state. His plan would reduce the number of Kansas counties from 105 to 13.

Steineger says having fewer counties would save money and generate competition.

His bill does not address the thorny topic of where to locate new county seats. Historians said county-seat disputes led to some of the most intense feuds in the state’s history.

He also believes the 40-member state Senate and 125-member state House should be downsized, too. Steineger has filed a separate bill that would set up a Senate of 30 members and a 90-member House.