Rail service – Wichita is free to pursue Heartland Flyer passenger rail service, but let’s get the Southwest Chief, which serves more towns in Kansas and whose route clearly offers more choices, on solid tracks first. The pursuit of the Heartland Flyer would make more sense if Kansas lacked passenger rail service altogether or the Southwest Chief route was beyond repair. But the tracks carrying the Southwest Chief are not broken. So fix them, maintain them, and then let’s assess Kansas’ needs for additional rail passenger service.
It’s certainly reasonable to try to motivate people on welfare to get a job, but if, as the governor suggested, the arbitrary new job requirement is the primary reason that 9,000 Kansas children have been thrown into poverty, the state should reconsider its stand. Childhood poverty has many consequences, many of which will be costly to the state as those children grow up: problems in school, juvenile offenses, general lack of civic engagement and others. Whatever the state is saving now by cracking down on public assistance funding may cost it much more dearly in the years to come.