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Minutes for SB132 - Committee on Transportation

Short Title

Providing for the buffalo soldier distinctive license plate.

Minutes Content for Wed, Feb 15, 2023

Chairperson Petersen called the meeting to order at 8:31 a.m. and opened the hearing on SB132.

Assistant Revisor Adam Siebers briefed the Committee on the bill (Attachment 1).  He explained that the bill provides a new distinctive license plate honoring the Buffalo Soldiers, with the Richard Allen Cultural Center and Museum assisting in the design of the plate and establishing a royalty fee between $25 and $100.

Senator Jeff Pittman, District 5, Leavenworth, testified as a proponent for the bill (Attachment 2).  He highlighted the historical role of the Buffalo Soldiers from post-Civil War through World Wars I and II. and he noted the monument dedicated to African-American troops at Fort Leavenworth.  He commented that the original initiators of the bill were the Fort Leavenworth Kansas Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club.

Via Web-ex, George Pettigrew, Executive Vice President, Alexander/Madison Chapter of Buffalo Soldiers, spoke in favor of the bill (Attachment 3).  He recounted the importance of the bison to indigenous tribes and the iconic status of the bison as the official state mammal.  He then traced the history of the Buffalo Soldiers from 1866 to 1966, when the first chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers was organized by World War II veterans in Leavenworth, and the present development of the Frontier Army Museum, which, together with the Buffalo Soldiers Monument and the proposed license plate, will showcase the significance of the Buffalo Soldiers.

Via Web-ex, Edna Wagner, Executive Director, Richard Allen Cultural Center and Museum, testified in support of the bill (Attachment 4).  She stated that the license plates will serve to publicize the story of the Buffalo Soldiers and remind citizens of the contribution of African-Americans in the armed forces; Buffalo Soldiers are a key part of Kansas culture, a fact recognized by General Colin Powell, who initiated the Monument at Fort Leavenworth. Ms. Wagner not the work of the Richard Allen Museum and commented that the distinctive license plate will be an ancillary support for its mission.

Written-only testimony was provided by Nancy Bauder, Leavenworth, in support of the bill (Attachment 5).

Chairman Petersen closed the hearing on SB132 and adjourned the meeting at 8:54 a.m.  The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 16, 2023.