Coming election – This year’s election is about more than punishing lawmakers who have done nothing to ameliorate our budget crisis. It’s about setting a precedent. Voters must prove to their representatives that a dismal approval rating isn’t just a superficial rebuke. It’s a demand for practical policies and a promise to recall legislators who don’t pursue them.
Budget disaster – This budget plan is heaping another disaster on top of four years of disaster. State representatives and senators who approved of this mess should be ashamed of themselves for shirking the responsibility entrusted to them from their constituents.
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The outlook for the Kansas economy is negative. This is not just the opinion of “liberal media” or “media elitists” or “Democrats and their friends in the media,” as Gov. Sam Brownback likes to say. It is the assertion of Moody’s Investors Service, the independent international credit rating agency. Moody’s had no choice but to label Kansas’ future as “negative.” It is recognition of the facts as Topeka presents them.
Tax lid – The so-called property tax lid is a mistake. Even with its exceptions, the law is wrongheaded. It penalizes cities and counties for their success in raising the appraised value of real property in their jurisdiction.
Medicaid expansion – A coalition of business, faith and health interests has launched an election-year campaign to build momentum for state approval of Medicaid expansion. Though the group doesn’t plan to endorse select candidates, anyone running for the Legislature had best be prepared to make a thoughtful case for or against Medicaid expansion. When they do, those who put pragmatism above politics deserve our wholehearted support at the polls.
Wheat crop – The wheat is looking fabulous across Kansas. It could be one for the record books. But the good news was tempered with the realities of the commodities market. If other states produce this kind of crop, wheat will be plentiful – and prices will go down, dropping below $4 a bushel. Here’s hoping what farmers lose in dropping prices, they can make up for in volume.