That Podcast in Hutch - Jim Gartner
Featuring the secret life of the Ornate Box Turtle that you never knew about
When Rep. Jim Gartner, from Topeka’s 53rd House District, first mentioned his bill dealing with the state reptile - the Ornate Box Turtle - I initially wondered if this was one of those bills brought to us by a group of enthusiastic school kids learning about state government.
That’s how the Ornate Box Turtle came to be our official state reptile, back in 1986.
But as Jim and talked more, an intriguing story unfolded that involves the Kansas state turtle, cultural fashions halfway across the world, and a underground market.
I told Jim that I wanted him to come on and talk about it. He told me no one would much care about the issue. I convinced him otherwise and managed to get him to sit down to explain his bill, and the completely unbelievable, but completely true, tale of the Ornate Box Turtle.
Aside from the reason he introduced a bill to protect the Ornate Box Turtle, this episode offers an interesting insight into how a conversation can turn into legislation that makes it’s way to the Kansas Legislature.
To listen to my visit with Jim, subscribe to That Podcast in Hutch at Salt City Sound or on your favorite podcast streaming service.
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I’ll save updates on the legislature for Friday or the weekend. It’s been a pretty quiet week - save the Senate deciding to play hacky-sack with a piece of critical legislation to extend the governor’s emergency orders that allow flexibility in staffing for the state’s hospitals.
Whether someone thinks a tiny robot lives in a vaccine, or that Covid is all part of some elaborate global hoax, there’s no denying that the state’s hospitals are dealing with incredible numbers of patients - and they are struggling to keep up adequate staffing levels. The governor’s orders eased that a bit, but they’ll expire Friday if we don’t get this legislation out. It passed the House handily, but some members of the Senate, in typical fashion, put on their tinfoil hats, doused themselves in essential oils, and decided to have a little fun with people’s lives.
After all, as I’ve been told SO many times up here by so many people - it’s all just a game. Unless the game is your life (or your healthcare, education, livelihood, community, roads, hospitals, etc., etc.) and you’re on the losing end.