In a surprising turn of events, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has put a halt to the production of a newly unveiled license plate design, following its failure to garner public approval. The decision comes in response to bipartisan disapproval of the proposed design, showcasing Governor Kelly's commitment to stay responsive to public sentiment and remain a truly elected representative of the people.
Public Inclusion in Decision-Making
With the aim to ensure a democratic process, Governor Kelly announced that the state will establish a new procedure to involve public input in selecting the final design for the license plates. This move empowers Kansas residents to actively partake in the design process, ensuring that the new license plate design aligns with both aesthetic preferences and functional requirements. The revamped approach will incorporate guidelines from law enforcement needs and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, emphasizing the importance of creating license plates that are easy to read.
Delay in Transition to New Plates
The process' reconfiguration comes with an inevitable delay in the roll out of the new plates, originally slated to debut in Spring 2024. The previously revealed design, featuring a wheat-yellow background with black and midnight blue text, was part of a phased initiative to replace the current embossed standard plates. Despite the initial praise of the new design for promoting the state's optimism, the public pushback has necessitated the pause in production.
Financial Implications and Next Steps
The decision impacts the state's financial planning as well. Earlier in the year, lawmakers approved spending up to $9.8 million on producing new plates, with a substantial part of the cost expected to be covered by leftover federal coronavirus pandemic relief dollars. As the state awaits the reconvening of legislators in January, there is anticipation of a mandated pause and public comment. Further details on the available design options, the voting mechanism, and the effects of this change on the transition from embossed to print-on-demand plates are expected to be shared by the Governor's Office shortly.