Capitol cost – It’s starting to seem like Kansas’ all-time biggest money pit is the renovation of the state Capitol building. With an original estimate of around $90 million to modernize and restore the building, the job that began in 2001 will end up taking the better part of 12 years, and $332 million to complete. When the state’s leaders decide that something is worth funding – things like a shiny new building, better parking and bigger office space – no expense is too great, no time too long, and no measure out of bounds to make a dream a reality.
School lawsuit – Granted, education has sustained some substantial funding cuts since the recession began, but so have other governmental functions at the state and local levels. Many of the state’s taxpayers also have suffered financially during the recession. In short, it is not an economic environment in which the state should be pushed into increasing funding for anything in huge chunks. It also is not an economic environment in which Schools for Fair Funding should be spending the taxpayers’ money – that provided by its member school districts to support the lawsuit – to force the state’s taxpayers to raise their ante.
Budget cuts – We recommend Ellis County, the city of Hays and USD 489 put all future expansion projects on hold until they see what the state does next year. With no effective opposition to check the conservative faction that soon will dominate Topeka, local government had best wait to see what pieces will need picking up. The governor’s “Road Map for Kansas” is headed straight for a financial cliff. Communities that don’t wish to crash more than likely will need to raise both property and sales taxes. We can’t afford to be overextended in either category.
Hays Daily News
Kobach – The Kansas secretary of state seems to be everywhere these days except in Kansas. Last we heard, the state of Kansas has a big election coming up. We’d like to see Kobach spend more time making sure voters are able to comply with the photo-ID requirement he insisted the state enact.
Kansas City Star
Gangs – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt launched an initiative aimed at educating students and the public on warning signs of gang activity. As rightly noted, gang activity is a community problem that can’t be solved by law enforcement agencies alone. Parents, educators and other stakeholders need to get together and arm themselves with as many strategies as possible to reach youngsters in hopes of steering them clear of gang activity that not only damages communities but also destroys young lives.
Garden City Telegram
Naismith rules – It’s interesting and good news to learn about the proposed two-story addition to Allen Fieldhouse to house the historic James Naismith document outlining the original rules for the game of basketball. The document was bought by University of Kansas alumnus David Booth at a cost of $4.3 million, and it was imperative, if it was to be displayed on the KU campus, that it be housed in an appropriate and safe location.