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Jan. 16, 2018
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Minutes for SB45 - Committee on Transportation

Short Title

Designating a portion of United States highway No. 40 as John Carlin highway.

Minutes Content for Thu, Feb 2, 2017

Chairperson Petersen opened the hearing on this bill. 

Senator Tom Hawk provided proponent testimony (Attachment1) for the John Carlin Highway extending from Abilene to Salina on I-70.  He thanked staff for working with him for the last year to prepare this bill.  He noted his testimony contains a great deal of information about former Governor John Carlin (Attachment 2).  He was a member of the House of Representatives for eight years, Speaker of the House in 1977-1979, and Governor for two terms.  He then worked as Archivist of the United States for ten years and most recently is a Professor at Kansas State University teaching Civic Engagement and Practical Politics.  He has been on a host of boards and commissions.  Among those are the KSU Foundation Board of Trustees, the Kansas Bioscience Authority, National Digital Strategy Advisory Board, Leadership Kansas, and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce Board. The Eisenhower Museum was not affiliated with a university as were other presidential libraries, and while serving as Archivist of the U.S., former Governor Carlin worked to get that done.

Senator Hawk provided an article on former Senator Ben Vidricksen (Attachment 3) as he stands beside his sign and gets recognition. The Ben E. Vidricksen Highway extends along I-135 south of I-70. 

He noted a change would be made to an additional statute to reflect this portion already had received a designation.  

He stood for questions and there were none.

Bruce Kent, retired attorney for the KSU Foundation, provided proponent testimony (Attachment 4).  As the Archivist of the United States, former Governor Carlin traveled all over the world to  share archives with other parts of the world.  Mr. Kent noted Professor Carlin challenged his KSU students but not with political bias.  In the world of politics, that is not only necessary, but it is an art.  Mr. Kent added the reason we want to do something for John Carlin is because of his time spent working to better this state.  When he left his U.S. Archivist role, he had huge opportunities, but he wanted to come back to Kansas.  He did so and started teaching. 

Former Governor Carlin's life has been mostly between Salina and Manhattan.  He has an honorary doctorate from Kansas State.  So, the choice of naming a section of I-70 ties his history in Manhattan, to his work as Archivist working with the Eisenhower Museum at Abilene, and to his history in Salina.  The highway signs will cost $6,000 to $10,000 and Mr. Kent indicated he and a group will raise those funds, so there is no cost to the state.

Mr. Kent added Representative John Carlin was elected in 1970, when the state was in an economic crisis, and in 1980s, he campaigned for six constitutional amendments, on topics including modernizing Kansas through the highway system, liquor by the drink, and gaming and the lottery.  Mr. Kent asked that these accomplishments be recognized in this way.  He stood for questions. 

Senator Pettey said her father served with former Governor Carlin in the House, and she got to visit him when he was Archivist.  Mr. Kent added that he had the opportunity to listen to the Nixon Tapes when former Governor John Carlin was the U.S. Archivist.

Senator Hardy added that he has been in highway business since 1980 and the business was very dire.  Governor Carlin was instrumental in helping to move the highway system to a more stable place which was appreciated by motorists and construction.  Senator Hardy added that it taught him how vital the transportation system in Kansas really is and he applauds the work of former Governor Carlin.

Senator Petersen said the signs are paid for with money raised privately.

The hearing on this bill as closed..