Gun bill – The Kansas House passed a bill that would force concealed-carry down the throats of every city, county and township in Kansas. This is wrong. If House Bill 2055 became law, every local unit of government in the state would have to spend thousands of taxpayer dollars on surveillance equipment and security personnel – or accept concealed-carry in its buildings. This is no choice at all.
Winfield Daily Courier
Drug tests – Conservative Republicans in Kansas have a way of trying to solve problems that don’t exist. Enacting a requirement for voters to show identification as a way to ward off the imagined threat of voter fraud would be one example. And now, count a move to submit Kansans on welfare to drug testing as another unnecessary and potentially costly ploy, when there’s no compelling evidence of drug users taking advantage of welfare. Lawmakers should focus on ways to get those folks back to work, rather than targeting them with unnecessary legislation.
Garden City Telegram
Medicaid – Opponents may not like the source of the Medicaid expansion – Obamacare. But the benefits of helping our state’s working poor are greater than the costs to the state or the distrust of the federal government. Opponents say that they worry about the federal government going into debt to help its poor. But we would argue that a state that doesn’t take care of its poor is already morally bankrupt.
Pittsburg Morning Sun
Federal judges – A seat on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has been vacant for more than 780 days. It’s the nation’s third-longest-running federal appeals vacancy, one that results in delayed cases and diminished Kansas clout within a multistate circuit of judges. The dysfunction created when Republican Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran obstructed President Obama’s nomination of Steve Six for the federal appeals court is also stalling efforts to fill a U.S. District Court vacancy in Kansas City. Kansans deserve effective federal courts. Roberts and Moran must put politics aside and work with the White House on filling the vacancies.
Kansas City Star
Liquor sales – The liquor store-only model of business no longer fits today’s world of consumer freedom and more progressive attitudes toward alcohol. Indeed, most states allow some form of beer, wine and spirits to be sold in other retail settings. Siding with big chain stories such as Dillons and Walmart in this robust debate does feel kind of icky. But there really is no fair reason to so tightly control and limit a legal product available to anyone 21 or older. The liquor store-only model of selling hard alcohol is antiquated.
Arkansas City Traveler
Common Core – Fed anti-President Obama rhetoric by the Kansas Policy Institute in Wichita and the Foundation for Educational Choice in Indiana, the House Education Committee introduced a bill this session that would prohibit districts from using Common Core standards or spending any money on them. A fiscal note attached to the bill suggests revising the standards would cost at least $9 million. To undo all the work already accomplished by teachers and superintendents throughout Kansas and the rest of the nation would be a waste of time and money – and a slap in the face of all the professionals involved.
Hays Daily News