The Board of Riley County Commissioners approved to accept over $20,000 in family-planning funding for the county health department.
The money comes from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and will amount to $25,139.
Shelley Hays, the administrative analyst for the Riley County Health Department, told commissioners the funds will be used to purchase additional long-acting reversible contraceptives.
Commissioners Ron Wells and Robert Boyd voted in favor of the funding, while commission chairman Ben Wilson did not.
“I still don’t think government should be a discount contraceptive shop,” Wilson said. “And especially when we have taxpayers with religious objections to contraceptives, they shouldn’t be forced to have their tax dollars spent on this.
“I can’t really in good conscience ask the state or federal government for more money (in a) current budget crisis for something like this, at least.”
Wells, who has more than a few years in age on Wilson, followed.
“I don’t disagree with Commissioner Wilson’s premise,” he said. “I mean, that’s fine, but the thing of it is, having lived this many years and you learn you’re not going to change it — I mean, the money is available and there’s no cost to Riley County and I’m a Riley County commissioner, so I’m not going to stand in the road of it.”
Wells added there’s a cost benefit to the county in accepting the funds.
“What this does is, it prevents cost to Riley County from unplanned pregnancy,” he said.
“I concur, Commissioner Wells,” Boyd responded. “This is part of that executive leadership we need. As much as we might object to it, this saves the county money going forward. I move we approve.”
After the motion passed 2-1, Hays told Wilson she brought more information on the contraceptives the department plans to purchase.
“I did also bring some information for you to go over if you had some more questions or concerns about that, if you wanted any of them?” she asked.
“I’ll take any information you have,” Wilson said, before asking Boyd to sign the grant amendment.