Renewable energy – Wichita-based energy and manufacturing giant Koch Industries, through Americans for Prosperity, has been angling to erase the state’s renewable energy standards, claiming such mandates lead to costly subsidies, overregulation and higher energy prices. Americans for Prosperity’s laughable television ads even try to link renewable energy standards in Kansas to Obamacare. Repealing Kansas’ renewable energy standards, as the Kochs desire, would hurt. Lawmakers in a state that’s benefiting from a growing mix of energy sources should be eager to keep the nonsensical tea party pitch from undoing an economic success story in Kansas.
Garden City Telegram
Spanking – There is no excuse for the obscene spanking bill, unless Rep. Gail Finney, D-Wichita, saw it as the only way for a Democrat to get press coverage in the current Statehouse environment. If that’s the case, congratulations. Now, withdraw the bill and return to your room. A time-out is needed; not a spanking.
Hays Daily News
Voting law – Although they have shown no inclination to do so, the only reasonable course is for the Kansas governor and legislators to pull back the state’s proof-of-citizenship law until the legal and practical issues that have stymied its implementation can be settled. As it stands, the threats the proof-of-citizenship law pose to the integrity of state elections are far more serious than any perceived threat of noncitizens attempting to vote in Kansas.
Probable cause – In most states, affidavits of probable cause are open to the press and the public after a warrant has been served. Not so in Kansas. It is past time for Kansas to let some sunlight into the process of securing arrest and search warrants. In this era of skepticism about government generally, it is wise to let the public learn all it can to hold law enforcement and the courts accountable.
Winfield Daily Courier
Anti-gay bill – The Kansas House caused a great deal of damage with its approval of a bill sanctioning discrimination against same-sex couples. House Bill 2453, which the House passed by a 72-49 vote but the Senate later refused to take up, would have made it possible for Kansans to cite religious belief as an excuse to deny services to gay and lesbian persons. So much for America as a nation where all citizens are treated equally under the law. Kansas House members sought to use religion as a vehicle for bigotry.
Kansas City Star
Child deaths – A simple and apparently cost-free change could give Kansans more insight into the causes of child deaths in the state and, therefore, potential prevention steps. Senate Bill 259 would allow the state child death review board to release more detailed information to researchers interested in drilling down to the root causes of deaths among those 17 and younger. We hope the bill will see a smooth path to passage this legislative session.
Embarrassing Legislature – Members of the Legislature should do themselves – and the state – a favor by closing up shop, heading home for the spring and bringing to an early end one of the most embarrassing lawmaking sessions in recent memory. Every week, it seems, some ridiculous parcel of misguided legislation emerges from Topeka that only serves to embarrass Kansas and its people.