Kansas Atty. Gen. Bob Stephan was calling for the Legislature to put more teeth into the state’s drunken driving laws — including passing a statute that would allow victims of drunken drivers to sue the tavern or private club where the driver became intoxicated.
Kansas legislators were generally hostile to Gov. John Carlin’s effort to the get the state sales tax boosted from 3 to 3.5 percent. The governor countered that the funds the tax would provide were “sorely needed” in many categories.
Douglas County had recorded a grim traffic toll of 12 deaths in 1984. Drunken and impaired driving was a major reason for increased death tolls in the state and across the nation.
Kim Wells of Lawrence was to serve as state chairman for U.S. Sen. Bob Dole’s 1986 re-election campaign.