LJWorld.com weblogs Heard on the Hill
KU student-government leaders planning to lobby state legislators on concealed carry on campus, higher-education funding
We're just a few days away from a new Kansas legislative session, and KU's student government is getting ready to join in the fun.
Student Body President Hannah Bolton is rounding up students to come along on Higher Education Day, Feb. 11, when student governments from all the Kansas Board of Regents institutions will head to Topeka to lobby on the sorts of issues that might matter to college students.
Bolton said the KU representatives would focus on three issues in particular:
• Concealed carry on college campuses. The KU students will lobby against this, as they did last year at the same event. Bolton said the student-government groups at the other Regents universities would each be writing resolutions opposing on-campus concealed carry, as well.
• Potential higher-education funding cuts. Gov. Sam Brownback won't unveil his recommended state budget until the session starts, but the state Division of Budget last month recommended cuts of approximately 8 percent to higher-education funding, according to the Board of Regents. Bolton said that number is worrisome to students, so they'll hammer this one hard.
• And, finally, issues related to international students. Bolton said some of these issues (such as working restrictions) will apply more to the federal level, but one issue the KU students might consider will be in-state tuition for illegal-immigrant students who've lived in the state for at least three years. She said she wasn't sure how other student governments might feel about that issue, though.
KU student-government folks will also head to Washington, D.C., to lobby along with contingents from other Big 12 schools in March.