State Representative Sydney Carlin

State Representative Sydney Carlin
Kansan House of Representatives
Democratic Party
Last Election: 
Upcoming Election: 
Member of the following: 

House Committees:

  • Appropriations
  • Ag and Natural Resources Budget (Ranking Member)
  • Local Government
  • Arts and Cultural Resources (House/Senate Joint Committee)
  • National Conference of State Legislators Health Committee

Representative Sydney Carlin has served the 66th House District since 2003. Sydney and her husband, John, raised four children in Manhattan and have 13 grandchildren. She was elected as a city commissioner from 1993-1996 and Mayor of Manhattan from 1996-1997. She has been the owner of businesses in service and retail industry.

Rep. Carlin has been an active community member for more than 40 years. Prior to her election to the Kansas House she was PTO President at Manhattan Catholic Schools, member of the Manhattan High Booster Club board, active member of the Mercy Hospital Auxiliary, Morning Out for Mothers, and Kansans for a Strong Fort Riley. Her community service includes the Riley County Law Advisory Board, Manhattan Public Library Board, Manhattan Economic Development Opportunity Fund Advisory Board, Community Health Council, Manhattan Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Public Housing Authority, Riley County-Manhattan Health Board, Senior Center Advisory Board. As a member of the KSU Rowing Club Advisory Board she was instrumental in women’s rowing becoming an NCAA sport at K-State.

As Mayor of Manhattan she counts among her proudest achievements the purchase of land for the Manhattan Technology Park which is home to several Manhattan corporations and provides the home for hundreds of jobs in Manhattan. She also negotiated the purchase of land and the development of an agreement between the City of Manhattan and USD 383 for the Manhattan High School and American Legion competition baseball field complex.  Allen Road was upgraded and reconstructed and a new Regional Airport Terminal was built. Following a twelve year political struggle that catapulted her into the political arena, the community passed a referendum to build and relocate the new Riley County Law Enforcement Center away from the grade school location. After leaving office as a city official she was appointed by Governor Bill Graves to serve on the Kansas Board of Indigents’ Defense Services, before being elected to the Kansas House of Representatives.

She is a current member of the General Advisory Board of the Manhattan Area Technical College, the Leadership Studies Advancement Council at Kansas State University and using her experience as past owner of a career placement agency, Sydney now serves on the Manhattan Workforce Advisory Board.  As a member of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce she serves on the Military Affairs and the Public Affairs Committes.   Her national organizations include National Council of State Legislators (NCSL) Health Committee, state director of WiLL/WAND, and Women in Government.

Rep. Carlin introduced a bill making Kansas the first state in the nation to pass the Military Child Interstate Education Compact, and legislation allowing for schools with high military student populations to have a second count date in February, bringing additional state aid to USD 383 and schools around Ft Riley and other military institutions in Kansas whose populations increase during the school year due to military assignments.  She introduced the Kansas False Claims against the State Act to allow the state to prosecute false claims relating to contracts and services such as Medicaid in 2005, and the Whistleblower Protection Act in 2009. Carlin carried the National Bio-Agra-Defense Facility (NBAF) support bill in the Kansas House and introduced initial funding for the new Veteran’s Cemetery at Ft. Riley.

Under her leadership the legislature approved a contract to support new airline service to the Manhattan Regional Airport, creating new jobs and boosting the local economy by opening up daily flights to Dallas and Chicago. She is the Ranking Minority Member on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Budget Committee, and serves on the Appropriations, the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

Carlin has been recognized as an outstanding legislator by the Citizens for Higher Education, Economic Lifelines, the Kansas Economic Progress Council, and Independent Living Communities. She is the treasurer for the Democratic Disabilities Caucus, a member of Seven Dolors Catholic Church, The Daughters of the American Revolution, the League of Women Voters, the Konza Prairie Quilt Guild and a charter member of the Fairy Godmother’s Foundation. She holds a B.S. from Kansas State University with hours towards a Master of Sciences.

She remains active in Ft Riley task forces.