Shutdown There comes a time when personal beliefs need to be set aside in favor of sound governing principles. On the eve of deliberately causing potential economic calamity, the U.S. Congress finally decided to raise the nations debt limit and fully reopen the federal government.
If anything was more confounding than the damaging 16-day government shutdown, it was why anyone in Washington, D.C., was smiling when it was over late last week.
Though the Brownback administration has been able to articulate some legitimate concerns about the city-owned Finney State Office Building, they still don’t justify vacating the building and abandoning a 20-year city-state partnership – especially when the city has offered a $6 million renovation and a deep discount on rent.
Section 1 of the Kansas Bill of Rights states that we are all equal. But when it comes to voting and filing taxes, some Kansans are less equal than others.
Praise is due Sedgwick County for continuing to lead the way on wellness with its new Community Health Improvement Plan. The feat will be turning the goals into a healthier population amid budget cutting – and some flak even from the County Commission bench.
If Wichita expects to land more and bigger conventions, it will need to do better than the current Century II. But Mayor Carl Brewer is right that razing the iconic saucer-shaped 45-year-old civic center “can’t happen.”
School funding – A ruling on the state’s appeal of yet another school-finance lawsuit is expected before the start of the legislative session in January. We’re going to make a not-so-wild guess here and predict the school districts will win, again. What that will mean is that the state will be ordered to increase the $3 billion it spends on school funding by more than $440 million, raising the per-pupil base from the current $3,838 to $4,492. Some legislators are saying they’ll defy the court if it orders an increase in school funding. We have a better idea. Stop the cycle of funding-by-lawsuit, work with school districts on their needs, and don’t even think of saying “no” to the court.
It will surprise no one if the Kansas Supreme Court again sides with school districts and says the state is underfunding K-12 education. But because the Statehouse is a very different place than it was the last time the court ordered a funding increase, Kansas then could see a showdown that would make the federal shutdown seem tame.
As the Cabinet member in charge of the embarrassing launch of the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplaces, former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius isn’t doing much for her reputation, President Obama’s signature initiative or, far more important, the millions of Americans who lack health insurance and are mandated to have it under the law.
After all the policy changes to make it harder for Kansans to receive welfare, you would think that the Kansas Department for Children and Families had run out of ways to be cruel. But no.
With each year, legal setback, and change in the energy marketplace, it gets harder to envision another coal-fired power plant being built in western Kansas.
Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, and others in his party have rightly criticized Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in the past for refusing to allow his chamber to vote on House-passed bills. So it’s hard to understand the House’s refusal now to take up the Senate-passed “clean” spending bill and potentially end the weeklong shutdown.
Shutdown Congress succeeded in shutting down the United States governments nonessential workforce (about half of all government employees and functions), putting our country at economic risk of severe damage. Why? Because there is a federal law, enacted by a previous Congress and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, that it doesnt like.
What do Wichitans want for their city’s future? What should its priorities be? Where should we go from here?
Wichita leaders are smart not to let August’s historic deluge deter them from working to ensure the community has enough water for the future. The revised drought plan considered by the City Council this week would help do that, while helping residents know where they stand the next time Cheney Reservoir threatens to go dry.
Hope is fading of keeping state agencies from moving out of the city-owned Finney State Office Building, despite the city’s generous offer to slash the rent and to spend at least $6 million on renovation. That’s frustrating.
Americans already know how the latest government shutdown will end. Too bad we can’t skip the part where furloughed federal workers must worry about providing for their families and veterans in wheelchairs must move barricades to visit their National World War II Memorial.
As fall enrollment figures across the state’s public higher-education system demonstrate the success of Gov. Sam Brownback’s efforts to boost technical education, they raise the possibility that annual tuition hikes are scaring away potential college students.
Westar settlement Kansas consumers apparently do have a voice after all. Westar Energy earlier this year asked for its 16th rate increase since 2006 and, based on its successful track record with the Kansas Corporation Commission, likely saw little reason to doubt its latest request would find the same easy path to approval.
Gov. Sam Brownback is reluctant to expand Medicaid because he is concerned that the federal government won’t honor its promise to pay for it. He should be more concerned about how KanCare isn’t paying Kansas hospitals. And how not allowing the Medicaid expansion hurts the hospitals even more.