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Eagle editorial: Slots bill anti-democratic

One needn’t be pro-gaming to be stunned by the Kansas Senate’s approval of a bizarre, anti-democratic bill to prevent Sedgwick County from holding another vote on gambling until 2032.

Eagle editorial: End the secrecy in police records

To its credit, the Kansas House voted overwhelmingly to unseal affidavits used by police to justify arrest warrants – a move to bring more transparency to government. But to its discredit, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted last week to keep these records secret. Then this week, Senate leadership said it would not allow debate on the issue on the Senate floor.

Eagle editorial: Leave renewable energy standard alone

Kansas’ 5-year-old renewable portfolio standard is a proven winner in ramping up Kansas as a leader in wind energy – and undeserving of the attack underway at the Statehouse.

Eagle editorial: Health care compact bill a mistake

Whether the health care compact bill is a legitimate escape hatch from the Affordable Care Act, a measure putting Kansans’ Medicare coverage at risk or simply benign Obama-bashing, the Kansas House shouldn’t have passed it Monday.

Kansas views on party switching, local elections, liquor sales, Brownback, Huelskamp

Party switching – A bill sent to Gov. Sam Brownback would prevent Kansans from switching political parties from June 1 until after the August primary. This, of course, is intended to stop Democrats from crossing over to support moderate Republicans, who might pose an electoral threat to some of the conservative Republicans now in charge.

Eagle editorial: School-equity remedy is clear

Some of the Republicans who control the Kansas House thought it would be smart to try to turn an easy school-funding fix into an epic ideological conquest. Bad idea.

Eagle editorial: Voting decision disappoints

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren gave Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach a court victory, at least for now, as he ordered the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to change the federal voter-registration instructions immediately to reflect the proof-of-citizenship requirements in Kansas and Arizona. But the decision was disappointing.

Eagle editorial: Let the madness begin

It can be difficult to get much done on a normal Friday afternoon. But with the state’s three major universities all playing in the NCAA basketball tournament, job productivity may go out the window.

Eagle editorial: Be wise on school equity

Gov. Sam Brownback and Attorney General Derek Schmidt have shown the Legislature the way to the exits on K-12 school funding, at least for the short term. Lawmakers should be smart enough to follow them and avert a court fight over equity.

Eagle editorial: Local, state and federal governments need more sunlight

Public officials like to talk about open government. It’s much harder to act accordingly, which makes this Sunshine Week (March 16-22) an opportunity to do more than raise awareness.

Eagle editorial: Hotel tax aids marketing

Wichita doesn’t do nearly enough to promote itself to potential tourists and conventions in the region or beyond. The Wichita City Council can take a sizable step toward fixing that by approving the proposed tourism business improvement district and 2.75 percent hotel “fee” – though it also should expect citizens to recognize a new tax when they see one.

Kansas views on school-funding ruling, switching parties, medical school funding

School funding – The Kansas Supreme Court’s school-finance ruling cast a bright light on the Legislature’s willful failure to meet its funding obligations to poorer school districts and their students. The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision gives lawmakers until July 1 to correct the inequities they’ve created. That can best be done by restoring the “equalization aid” at an annual cost of about $129 million. Kansas lawmakers shouldn’t have to be forced to do the right thing. Their deliberate policy of unjustly shortchanging students in poorer school districts must end now.

Eagle editorial: Don’t limit death-penalty appeals process

Even those impatient to see executions resume in Kansas should be wary of setting arbitrary time limits on the appeals process, as legislation in a House-Senate conference committee would do. And there are other concerns for Kansans to consider as next month’s 20th anniversary of the state’s death penalty approaches, including the law’s high costs.

Eagle editorial: Don’t need election ‘fixes’

Because switching parties is a voter’s prerogative, Gov. Sam Brownback should veto the bill meant to prevent Kansans from changing political affiliation during the two months before an August primary. And because of strong opposition from local officials, the Legislature should shelve another bill that would move municipal and school board elections to the fall.

Eagle editorial: Rainbows’ remarkable return

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of Rainbows United was one blow to the community among many in mid-2009, worrying parents of children with special needs who counted on the nonprofit organization’s expert care, therapy and other help. But now Rainbows deserves congratulations for its remarkable return to stability.

Eagle editorial: Better approach on social-media policy

The Kansas Board of Regents overreacted in December by making “improper use of social media” a potential firing offense for faculty members. The work group it later created to reconsider that policy has found a better approach – emphasizing academic freedom and free speech while encouraging “responsible use” of existing and emerging communications technologies.

Eagle editorial: State will have to pay on school funding

Gov. Sam Brownback and GOP legislators are kidding themselves if they think they won’t have to significantly increase state spending in order to adequately fund K-12 education. The Kansas Supreme Court’s decision to send the adequacy determination back to the lower court likely just delayed the inevitable.

Eagle editorial: Review cab-safety rules

To its credit, the city of Wichita upgraded taxi licensing and enforcement in 2012 after complaints of smoky, filthy cabs and drivers wearing tank tops. But poor taste and hygiene weren’t the worst of it. Now the city should review those 2-year-old rules to ensure that Wichita’s cabs are as safe as they can be.

Kansas views on water, streaming video, gay marriage, Kochs, interstate compact, autism bill, Senate race

Water – It was good to hear something positive on the Ogallala Aquifer, the underground water supply that helps sustain a region heavily dependent on agriculture. A recent report showed that the rate of depletion of the aquifer slowed last year. But as welcome as the news was, it could not drown out lingering concern over a water source considered the economic lifeblood of the region.

Eagle editorial: Fix funding inequities

The Kansas Supreme Court’s long-awaited Gannon decision rivaled the school-finance formula for complexity, disappointing districts impatient for a fix and partisans itching for a fight. But Kansans can hope Gov. Sam Brownback and other state leaders will take seriously the court’s 110-page ruling and the responsibility it lays out for them to address the inequities in state K-12 funding between rich and poor districts.

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