News Columns & Blogs

Panel should represent entire state

It’s called the Kansas Children’s Cabinet, not the Northeast Kansas Children’s Cabinet, and it’s empowered to advise the governor and Legislature on how best to spend the state’s proceeds from the multistate tobacco settlement — $55 million to $60 million this fiscal year, earmarked for children’s programs. Yet the four newly appointed members of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet, like the other five members, all hail from the northeastern part of the state, with most coming from either the Kansas City area or Topeka. When it was created in 1999, the panel was led by former Cessna Aircraft Co. executive John Moore, a Wichitan who later became lieutenant governor. Twelve years later, population-rich south-central Kansas, like the rest of the state, ought to be able to count on the governor and legislative leaders to ensure their appointments to such an important panel accurately reflect the state’s geography.