State budget – As the slog toward tax reform continues, lawmakers should remember that they’re doing more than addressing an immediate shortfall – they’re making decisions that will either lead to a structurally balanced budget or fiscal upheaval for years to come. They should also recognize that a single tax bill won’t fix everything – the destructive legacy of the past four years will be with us for a very long time. A state can’t deplete its highway fund, ignore pension payments, withhold education dollars, borrow money and slash spending on core services without suffering a range of predictable and unanticipated consequences.
If the little amount of cash the state of Kansas has could earn interest as well as the Legislature earns its reputation for ineptitude, this budget crisis would be solved.
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Lawmakers’ task would be easier if Gov. Sam Brownback would demonstrate some of the flexibility he seems to expect from members of the Legislature and more respect for the rank-and-file citizens of this state. It is, after all, his misguided policies, are the primary cause of the prolonged financial crisis that deepened the state’s debt and co-opted unimagined opportunities in the coming years. It’s well past time for the governor to become part of the solution instead of the chief obstacle to solving it.
Kobach – The Javert of voter fraud now has a ninth conviction to show for Kansans’ tax dollars and his own single-minded pursuit. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach claimed in a statement that, “This conviction demonstrates once again how prevalent the crime of double voting is.” We agree that this does show just how prevalent the crime is. Keep this up, sir, and you may yet prove that of the 1.8 million registered voters in the state, the number of those who have perpetrated this crime is in the double digits.
Medicaid expansion – The case for expanding Medicaid now is stronger than the case for waiting to see what happens in Washington. Rather than let others decide our fate, we should act. Expanding Medicaid is the right thing to do morally. It is economically the right thing to do as well.