Believe in local control or not?
Time and again we see the conservatives in our Kansas Legislature rejecting federal legislation, calling it “overreach.” They say they want laws to be determined locally.
I am all for local policymaking when our state government truly represents the diversity of citizens’ opinions. However, Gov. Sam Brownback and his team of conservatives only represent those who agree with their agenda.
What’s more troubling is that many of these federal policies would protect and enhance the welfare of our state and its people, such as access to affordable health care and environmental laws that promote renewable energy sources and protect wildlife.
How ironic it is, then, that this same Legislature is insisting on determining gun laws for the state, so that cities and counties have no say in the matter. For example, it is forcing public colleges and universities in the next several years to either allow concealed-carry guns on campus or install security equipment that is too expensive for some institutions to afford.
This means that students may soon be entering my classroom carrying concealed weapons, and as an instructor, I will have no say in the matter. If we believe in local policymaking, then we need to take it all the way.
Regarding “Refunds fewer so far for Kan. taxpayers” (March 18 Eagle): Gov. Sam Brownback has about broken his arm from patting himself on the back for cutting Kansas income taxes. For me and many other Kansas taxpayers, this is a very bad joke.
Brownback is not telling us that if you itemize deductions, your income tax may be greater for 2013 than it was for 2012.
My Kansas income tax for 2013 is $234. But when I used my 2013 information with the 2012 rules, I found my Kansas income tax would have been only $38. That is a “cut” in the wrong direction. I would hate to see very many “cuts” like that.
What The Eagle article failed to say was that now Kansas only allows 70 percent of federal income-tax deductions (except charitable donations) to be claimed as a Kansas itemized deduction. What a nice way to attract new people to Kansas. I don’t think so. I guess I’ll wait and see.
E. JOE HOLT
Hands off Medicare
I have been on Medicare for 16 years and have no complaints about it. Along with a supplemental insurance policy, most of my medical needs are taken care of. Things are working as they should.
But I worry for my children and grandchildren with Gov. Sam Brownback and state lawmakers trying to “fix” Medicare. Don’t let them.