Gov. Laura Kelly and Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers announced plans and dates for the Office of Rural Prosperity’s 2020 Tour. This year’s tour will be completely virtual and will build off the ORP Listening Tour Rogers led last summer.
“The Office of Rural Prosperity was established to give all Kansans a voice at the Statehouse,” Kelly said. “This tour will continue to remind rural communities that we are here to support them, and we are continuing to work towards solutions that will foster growth and prosperity in these areas.”
Last summer Rogers took to the road as part of a statewide Listening Tour where he connected with hundreds of Kansans across the state. These discussions established the foundation for the Office of Rural Prosperity and its priorities to help streamline polices and coordinate programs that aid rural Kansas.
The 2020 tour will consist of seven virtual meeting across the state that will be open to the public. State agency leaders and local stakeholders will join the Rogers to talk about policies and projects that are targeted to rural areas.
“One of my favorite things is connecting with people and I’m very much looking forward to getting ‘back on the road’ again, even if it’s virtual,” said Rogers. “To contrast last year’s tour, this year we will focus around listening and action, meaning we will be showing Kansans how we’ve been working towards sustainable solutions to concerns we’ve heard across the state.”
Kelly cited Covid-19 concerns and the safety of Kansans for the move to a virtual platform. Rogers echoed her sentiments but acknowledge the challenges of broadband internet for some rural areas. Participants will still have opportunities to ask questions during the meetings and provide feedback through surveys and the comments section.
The ORP’s priority areas consist of broadband and infrastructure, early education and childcare, healthcare, housing, and community development. The tour will also discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on rural communities.
Participants must register for their specific region at www.ruralkanprosper.gov/2020-tour. Call-in options for those with limited internet access will be available and all sessions will be recorded and streamed to Lt. Governor’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LtGovRogers. Press and public officials are encouraged to attend.
All meetings will be held 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. except for the Saturday statewide meeting.
North Central—Thursday, Aug.6
North West—Wednesday Aug. 12
Statewide—Saturday, Aug. 22 (1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.)
Southwest—Tuesday, Aug. 25
South Central—Wednesday, Sept. 2
South East—Wednesday, Sept. 9
North East Kansas—Wednesday, Sept. 16
ORP is a nonpartisan initiative established in part to ensure that rural Kansas is heard and represented in the Statehouse. ORP is an effort to streamline rural policy, create an inventory of existing resources and initiatives while aiding in rural improvement efforts.