Senate Bill No. 132
An Act concerning motor vehicles; relating to distinctive license plates; providing for the buffalo soldier license plate.
WHEREAS, Buffalo soldiers were African American soldiers who mainly served on the western frontier following the American civil war; and
WHEREAS, In 1866, six all-black cavalry and infantry regiments were created after congress passed the army organization act; and
WHEREAS, The soldiers of the all-black 9th and 10th cavalry regiments were dubbed “buffalo soldiers” by the native Americans; and
WHEREAS, In 1867, the 10th cavalry was based in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and commanded by Colonel Benjamin Grierson; and
WHEREAS, About 20% of U.S. cavalry troops that participated in what is commonly known as the Indian wars were buffalo soldiers, who participated in at least 177 conflicts; and
WHEREAS, These same units were critical to the Spanish American war, conflicts in the Philippines, World War I and World War II; and
WHEREAS, Often facing blatant racism and enduring brutal weather conditions, buffalo soldiers earned a reputation for serving courageously; and
WHEREAS, In 1948, President Harry Truman issued executive order 9981 eliminating racial segregation in America’s armed forces, resulting in the disbanding of all-black units during the 1950s; and
WHEREAS, The installation of the buffalo soldier monument at Fort Leavenworth was initiated by General Colin Powell, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, who was the first African American to serve in that capacity and dedicated in 1992 to the memory of the 9th and 10th cavalry regiments of the U.S. army; and
WHEREAS, The buffalo soldier legacy continues to ensure that the rich heritage of African Americans and their profound effect on American society will not be lost; and
WHEREAS, There exists on Fort Leavenworth a museum called the frontier museum, currently a world-class museum, that tells the story of Fort Leavenworth from 1827 to 1917 and the history of the frontier army from 1804 when Lewis and Clark passed through; and
WHEREAS, There is an effort, supported by Fort Leavenworth leadership and the department of defense, to reimagine the frontier army museum and make it more accessible to the public; and
WHEREAS, A new frontier army museum is being planned outside the gates of Fort Leavenworth that will tell the story of the frontier and will include a focus on the buffalo soldiers; and
WHEREAS, A current museum is within close proximity to the future site of the frontier army museum, named the Richard Allen cultural center, housed in the former home of a buffalo soldier; and
WHEREAS, Part of the Richard Allen cultural center’s mission is to tell the story of the buffalo soldier and more broadly the African American experience locally; and
WHEREAS, The Richard Allen cultural center stands in support of this new frontier army museum in expanding the channels to tell that story in the context of the military and will dedicate a portion of the funds generated from the issuance of this license plate to that new museum. The Richard Allen cultural center works with the charitable organization established by the 9th and 10th cavalry regiments to support other parts of its mission such as tutoring at risk children in the area; and
WHEREAS, This reimagined army museum will be built and run with private funds, with this being but one of those funding sources.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
Section 1. (a) On and after January 1, 2024, any owner or lessee of one or more passenger vehicles or trucks registered for a gross weight of 20,000 pounds or less who is a resident of Kansas, upon compliance with the provisions of this section, may be issued one buffalo soldier license plate for each such passenger vehicle or truck. Such license plate shall be issued for the same time as other license plates upon proper registration and payment of the regular license fee as provided in K.S.A. 8-143, and amendments thereto, and either the payment to the county treasurer of the logo use royalty payment or the presentation of the annual logo use authorization statement provided for in subsection (b).
(b) The Richard Allen cultural center & museum, inc. may authorize the use of the organization’s logo to be affixed on license plates as provided by this section. Any motor vehicle owner or lessee may apply annually to the Richard Allen cultural center & museum, inc. for use of such logo. Such owner or lessee shall pay an amount of not less than $25 nor more than $100 to the Richard Allen cultural center & museum, inc. as a logo use royalty payment for each such license plate to be issued. The logo use royalty payment shall be paid to either:
(1) The Richard Allen cultural center & museum, inc., which shall issue to the motor vehicle owner or lessee, without further charge, a logo use authorization statement that shall be presented by the motor vehicle owner or lessee at the time of registration; or
(2) the county treasurer.
(c) Any applicant for a license plate authorized by this section may make application for such license plate not less than 60 days prior to such person’s renewal of registration date, on a form prescribed and furnished by the director of vehicles, and any applicant for such license plate shall either provide the annual logo use authorization statement provided for in subsection (b) or pay to the county treasurer the logo use royalty payment. Application for registration of a passenger vehicle or truck and issuance of the license plate under this section shall be made by the owner or lessee in a manner prescribed by the director of vehicles upon forms furnished by the director.
(d) No registration or license plate issued under this section shall be transferable to any other person.
(e) The director of vehicles may transfer a buffalo solder license plate from a leased vehicle to a purchased vehicle.
(f) Renewals of registration under this section shall be made annually, upon payment of the fee prescribed in K.S.A. 8-143, and amendments thereto, and in the manner prescribed in K.S.A. 8-132(b), and amendments thereto. No renewal of registration shall be made to any applicant until such applicant provides to the county treasurer either the annual logo use authorization statement provided for in subsection (b) or the payment of the annual royalty payment. If such statement is not presented at the time of registration or sent by the Richard Allen cultural center & museum, inc., or the annual royalty payment is not made to the county treasurer, the applicant shall be required to comply with the provisions of K.S.A. 8-143, and amendments thereto, and return the license plate to the county treasurer of such person’s residence.
(g) The Richard Allen cultural center & museum, inc. shall provide to all county treasurers an electronic mail address where applicants can contact the Richard Allen cultural center & museum, inc. for information concerning the application process or the status of such applicant’s license plate application.
(h) The Richard Allen cultural center & museum, inc., with the approval of the director of vehicles, shall design a plate to be issued under the provisions of this section.
(i) As a condition of receiving the buffalo soldier license plate and any subsequent registration renewal of such license plate, the applicant shall consent to the division authorizing the division’s release of motor vehicle record information, including the applicant’s name, address, royalty payment amount, plate number and vehicle type to the Richard Allen cultural center & museum, inc. and the state treasurer.
(j) The collection and remittance of annual royalty payments by the county treasurer shall be subject to the provisions of K.S.A. 8-1,141(h), and amendments thereto, except that payments from the buffalo soldier royalty fund shall be made on a monthly basis to the Richard Allen cultural center & museum, inc. of which a portion of such funds shall be dedicated to the construction and maintenance of the reimagined frontier museum.
Sec. 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its publication in the Kansas register.
Approved April 20, 2023.
Published in the Kansas Register May 4, 2023.