Conservative? – Some of our “conservative” lawmakers in Topeka are not being conservative at all. They want to regulate everything they can think of in our lives. One bill would breach the doctor-patient relationship by gagging a physician’s right to ask a patient if he or she has a gun in the house. When it comes to regulating strip clubs, some imaginative Kansas lawmakers want to control “various levels of undress.” A bill on climate science would tell teachers how to do their jobs. One benighted senator wanted to prohibit county health departments from seeking national certification. Fortunately he has backed off. If this is the new, libertarian conservatism that prevailed in the elections of November 2012, it’s awfully hard to recognize.
Winfield Daily Courier
Climate bill – Legislators sponsoring a bill introduced in the House Education Committee fancy themselves scientists who think that public schoolteachers should question prevailing scientific opinion on climate change. The bill says science classes must “provide information to students of scientific evidence which both supports and counters a scientific theory or hypothesis.” In a session that has seen some wacko ideas, this one is out there.
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Budget mistakes – The governor’s office is not exactly inspiring confidence with its use of budget numbers lately. Gov. Sam Brownback recently blamed his predecessor for spending $2 billion more than he actually did when in office. Throwing around inaccurate numbers is one reason we are skeptical when the governor claims the state can make up the difference in economic growth if it continues to cut income-tax rates. There are other reasons as well – namely that it hasn’t worked anywhere else.
Daily Union, Junction City
Lobbying – A bill in Topeka would make it a crime to use public funds for political lobbying. This is an effort by extreme conservative elements – the gun lobby, Americans for Prosperity and some lawmakers – to tell political opponents to shut up or be locked up. It’s bare-knuckle, Tammany Hall-style politics than runs against the grain of fairness and respect we Kansans are proud of. That’s why a throng of opponents rallied against Senate Bill 109 during a recent hearing on the bill. Let’s hope it dies there.
Arkansas City Traveler
Basketball bill – Little has been heard since its introduction about a bill that would require the Kansas State Wildcats and the University of Kansas Jayhawks to play the Wichita State University Shockers in basketball each year. That’s as it should be. The bill is now in the hands of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, where it should be tossed away or slowly die of neglect. Scheduling athletic contests is something that should be left to the schools involved.
Dark areas – It never hurts to have people praying for you, but Lawrence residents may be a little offended to learn they were included in a recent call for prayers for the “dark spiritual areas” of Kansas. The request came from a group called the Capitol Commission, a Christian group that targets its communications to state legislators, staff members and lobbyists. We didn’t know we were part of a “dark spiritual area.” We certainly welcome anyone’s prayers of support for our community – we may even offer a few of our own – but it’s unfortunate when spiritual leaders choose to use prayer to make a political point.