JJA facility – A state audit report painted a troubling picture of the Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex in Topeka. State officials must give top priority to addressing safety and security problems and restoring order at the facility, one of only two maximum- and medium-security facilities for juvenile offenders in the state. The governor and his staff need to act quickly to stabilize the situation at the Topeka facility and start working on long-term improvements at the Juvenile Justice Authority.
State chamber – The Kansas Chamber of Commerce has put itself at risk as a business organization. Instead of representing business to government, the chamber is trying to help its allies take over government. The chamber’s political action committee is out to defeat eight incumbent, moderate Republican senators who have supported education and balanced public policies. If the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and the radical conservatives allied with Gov. Sam Brownback have their way, we will be the losers.
Winfield Daily Courier
Name cost – The Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services is now the Department for Children and Families. The Department on Aging is now the Department for Aging and Disability Services. As a result, new computer upgrades are needed, as well as new signage and employee badges. Nearly all the costs are related to what was once known as SRS and is now the DCF. As Rep. Sean Gatewood, D-Topeka, pointed out, surely administrators could have figured out a way to reorganize SRS, keep the name and save a couple hundred grand. We know that sounds like petty grousing. But our governor prides himself on saving “nickels and dimes in a lot of different places,” as he boasted in a recent interview on MSNBC. Nearly $200,000 amounts to a goodly pile of nickels and dimes.
Daily Union, Junction City
Happy hour – Welcome back, happy hour. We missed you. Twenty-seven years after you were made illegal, Kansas lawmakers have changed their minds – and, in turn, the laws on the books. Lawmakers used to believe that by lowering the cost of an after-work cocktail, it might prompt some people to overindulge, to drink too much too quickly, and thus become a danger to themselves and everyone around them. What they have since learned is that anyone who wants to drink too much is going to do it. Anyone who wants to succumb to the forces of alcohol – from binging to driving drunk – is going to act irresponsibly regardless of whether he or she is saving a couple of bucks on the tab. Sadly, it took lawmakers 27 years to finally come to the right conclusion.
Health care law – Left to face the reality that the health care law is constitutional, GOP leaders continue grandstanding with futile efforts to repeal the law. That said, we know the law isn’t perfect. With some careful thought and consideration, it could be fine-tuned if Republicans could manage to reach across the aisle as part of a bipartisan effort. But when it comes to the law’s potential to help children, there’s little to debate. In Kansas alone, the law promises to give many of the 60,000 uninsured children access to health care coverage. Any law – even one as controversial as the Affordable Care Act – that contributes to children’s future well-being does indeed have merit.
Garden City Telegram