Letters to the editor on school funding, abortion, drug testing lawmakers, voter-ID law, Huelskamp

01/22/2013 5:44 PM

01/22/2013 5:44 PM

Learn history on school finance

It is time for a history lesson for legislators and the governor.

More than a decade ago, legislators decided to prove that they were properly funding education. They hired, at taxpayer expense, a firm to investigate the education system. But the firm determined that schools were about $800 million underfunded.

So lawmakers ordered the Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit to do a study, but it determined that schools were more than $800 million underfunded.

When the courts were faced with this information from independent sources, and considering the state constitution’s requirement that education be adequately funded, the courts had no option but to require legislators to do what the people had required them to do.

Remember – the constitutional amendment was voted on by the people of Kansas. It is not some fiction that the courts came up with.

Legislators need to do the job they were ordered to do by the voting people of Kansas.

EDWARD EVERHART

Bel Aire

Divided on abortion

Tuesday marked 40 years since the landmark Roe v. Wade decision was handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court. For years, Wichita has been a headline and an example of a city divided over abortion, even called “the fiercest battleground” for the issue.

As a Wichita resident, I hope to watch this city continue to grow economically and socially. But more than anything, I long to see Wichita recognize the value of every life, born or unborn. Tragically, abortion stops a beating heart, but it also hurts everyone involved: mother, father, grandparents, friends.

As a pro-life Wichitan, I have a responsibility to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. As a Christian, I also have a responsibility to lovingly reach out to all who are affected by abortion, no matter what side of the debate they are on. As Mother Teresa said: “How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love.”

Over the next 40 years, I hope that Wichita will set the example of a city that welcomes every person and recognizes the value of their life, whether that person is born or unborn, pro-choice or pro-life. And I pray that one day the city of Wichita will be known not as a battleground, but as a city that celebrates every life, born or unborn.

LAUREN DUNN

Wichita

Drug test all

I am glad to see that random drug testing is being suggested by the Kansas Legislature for those who receive state assistance (Jan. 20 Eagle). Let me add a suggestion to the legislation: Let’s randomly drug test the legislators themselves.

Why not? Is there a double standard among politicians?

I work for a government agency and have to undergo drug testing, and I am glad to comply with it. Legislators also work for the state – more precisely, the residents of Kansas. Why not have them tested randomly to ensure that they, too, comply with the laws they pass? Or is there one set of rules for the public and another for them? There shouldn’t be a different standard for them than for us, should there? Even better, why not test all public officials – judges, city board members and politicians?

JACK WELLMAN

Belle Plaine

Law a burden

With the implementation of the Secure and Fair Elections Act on Jan. 1, new voters must provide proof-of-citizenship documents. Kansas taxpayers are now seeing their hard-earned dollars spent on the added bureaucracy this law creates. Unfortunately, little if any of this added cost has ever been explained to us.

Though a birth certificate can be obtained free of charge by the voter needing it to register to vote, the actual cost to Kansans is not free. We now must pay the cost of the added bureaucracy to administer this requirement of the law. This cost includes the state workers’ salaries, benefits, department overhead, postage, etc.

The SAFE Act was advertised as necessary to prevent voter fraud. Unfortunately, no statistically significant evidence was presented to the legislators proving that such fraud existed. In fact, the instances of any voter fraud cited were either “alleged” or “reported,” without substantiated proof.

The added bureaucratic cost of the SAFE Act is at least one reason the voter-registration requirements should be repealed in the 2013 legislative session.

CHRISTOPHER TYSON

Wichita

Huelskamp’s grit

When Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a farmer from Fowler, entered the dimly lit Washington, D.C., Beltway two years ago, shady and powerful groups waited to pounce. In the corridors of Congress, the mindset of “spend, baby, spend” was exemplified by wasteful military projects in the districts of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. There also were bloated education initiatives, the overflowing feed trough to Planned Parenthood, and costly and unsustainable environmental projects such as “Cash for Clunkers” and the loans to Solyndra.

But Huelskamp was not swayed and sucked into this Beltway abyss, unlike so many other members of Congress, including several from Kansas’ congressional delegation.

Next time you see Huelskamp, shake his hand and thank him for showing true grit in standing up to sly Beltway interests. More important, thank him for representing “our” interests.

DONALD HOBSON

McPherson

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