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Eagle editorial: So much for local control

GOP legislators who actually believe in local control should be added to the threatened species list. There are fewer of them in Topeka than lesser prairie chickens on the Great Plains.

Eagle editorial: Keep funding fix simple

Rather than keep it simple in responding to the Kansas Supreme Court’s school-finance ruling, the Legislature seems intent on making matters worse for many districts. Kansans have to hope that as the favored bills go to the full House and Senate on Thursday, reason and fairness will prevail.

Eagle editorial: Step up scrutiny at jail

The 2012 GOP primary for Sedgwick County sheriff was a referendum on problems at the jail, including a detention deputy accused of sex crimes against inmates. Now, after new charges, the responsibility to rebuild public trust falls squarely on the victor in that election, Sheriff Jeff Easter.

Eagle editorial: Wildlife, conservation bills send bad message

Balancing property rights and wildlife protection isn’t easy, but some state leaders seem eager to discount science and go to court. Kansas cannot afford to do either.

Kansas views on renewable energy, ALEC, party switching, threatened species, Phelps

Renewable energy – There is yet some courage in the Kansas House of Representatives, and it was on full display Wednesday when its members refused to go along with the Kansas Senate’s repeal of a renewable energy standard that has been in place since 2009.

Eagle editorial: Poverty affecting schools

The “Road Map for Kansas” that Sam Brownback drafted as a candidate for governor in 2010 set a goal of reducing the number of children living in poverty while boosting reading scores and other achievement. As the Legislature works toward a school-funding fix, it’s sobering to realize how much the deepening need among the state’s families is affecting the state’s schools.

Eagle editorial: Medicaid expansion helps mentally ill

Gov. Sam Brownback has been talking recently about the need to provide better care for the mentally ill. But if he really wants to help, he should stop blocking the federal expansion of Medicaid, which would enable thousands of Kansans to receive mental health treatment in their communities.

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.

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