ABLE Act helps make dreams come true
Starting next year, people with disabilities will be able to save up to $14,000 per year, and accumulate a balance of up to $100,000, by opening an account with the Kansas State Treasurer’s Office. This was made possible after state and federal lawmakers approved the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act.
The most significant change is that the money saved won’t affect their eligibility for Medicaid or other federal disability payments. Previously, people with disabilities were limited to assets of no more than $2,000 before their benefits were reduced or eliminated, which increased government dependency. These tax-free savings accounts will enable people with disabilities and their families to look to the future and make plans to be independent and self-sufficient.
It’s not often that lawmakers get to work on ideas that help make dreams come true. Rep. Erin Davis, R-Olathe, worked tirelessly to push the ABLE Act for approval on the state level. U.S. Reps. Kevin Yoder, R-Overland Park, and Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, and Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts helped champion the bill through the process on the federal level with a lot of hard work and perseverance.
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Kansas House speaker
A secular republic
On June 28, Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, appeared before Summit Church to affirm that in Washington, D.C., he represents believers in Christ. Apparently, other misguided constituents of the 4th Congressional District who worship another faith, or no God, are the enemy, as Christian politicians like Pompeo must take back America for Jesus.
Pompeo crowed about the heroic act he was performing by speaking before Summit Church. He bragged about how more than 80 evangelicals were elected to Congress in 2010. Most important was his message that America needs more politicians of faith to infuse the government with their beliefs and get the nation back on track, instead of bowing to secularism.
I have news for Pompeo: America is a secular, democratic republic. We are not a Christian theocracy. It is clear Pompeo and his evangelical pals have marched to Washington not to govern but to push their religious beliefs into government policy, instead of protecting and upholding our secular Constitution.
Pompeo has a right to embrace his faith, but he must honor his oath to uphold the Constitution, which includes the separation of church and state. We expect Pompeo to protect our nation from religious zealots, not to become one himself.
VICKIE SANDELL STANGL
Great Plains Chapter
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
I disagreed with “Religion hijacked” (July 31 Letters to the Editor). There was a time when both Democrat and Republican parties opposed abortion and homosexuality practices. I would, therefore, maintain that the Democratic Party has been hijacked by atheists, evolutionists and socialists.
The letter writer argued that abortion and homosexual rights are “done deals” because of U.S. Supreme Court rulings, and that Democrats have a more biblical view on economic fairness. But the economy is not a fixed pie. If one person gets a larger share, it does not mean that it takes away from the person who has a smaller share. Jesus praises the man who was given five talents and gained five talents more (Matthew 25:14-30). The Bible encourages work (2 Thessalonians 3:10) and says that those who consider the poor are blessed (Psalm 41:1).
Society does best when there is incentive to work. A free-market economy, not communism, gives people an opportunity to show character, compassion and the love of God by prospering and then helping others.
George Washington was right: There never should have been political parties. However, because there are, they should not differ on moral issues. There is much room to debate on how best to tax and spend taxpayers’ money.
Kaiser touched heart
Tuesday’s front-page article about the 9-year-old bat boy, Kaiser Carlile, touched my heart. I feel so sad for his parents, the Liberal Bee Jays baseball team and, in particular, the player who accidentally injured him.
My heart and prayers go out to all who knew and loved that little boy.
Shortly before I performed at Reflection Ridge Independent Living recently, I was told that we might be visited by members of Wichita’s Fire Station No. 4. About 10 minutes into the gig, three members of the team showed up. These gracious guys spent more than a half-hour chatting with the residents and dancing with every lady who wanted a spin with these handsome, ripped young firefighters.
So not only do these guys fearlessly defend our lives and property on a daily basis, they took the time to connect with the wonderful seniors who built this country. Thank you, Fire Station No. 4. My lovely lady friends at Reflection Ridge will be talking about your visit for a long, long time.
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