University cuts – The University of Kansas and the state’s other universities are to be commended for their ability to adjust to the continuing decline in state support. Higher education has done its part. The challenge is now for the governor and the Legislature to find another way to balance the state’s budget other than slashing the institutions most critical to job and income creation and, ultimately, economic recovery.
Judicial retention – The overriding goal in the next two-plus months for Kansans is to resist the political witch-hunt against four Supreme Court justices. They deserve to be retained.
Unemployment rate – Although Kansas has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, this was the case when Gov. Sam Brownback was elected. Since then, the national unemployment rate has decreased by 46.2 percent while ours has decreased by 40.6 percent. It’s difficult to see how Brownback considers this a success.
Arts funding – Though funding for the arts shouldn’t break the bank, forward-thinking policymakers would consider the return on investment. There’s no question the arts employ people and make communities better places to live. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to imagine reasonable support from an ultraconservative regime controlling the Statehouse that deliberately shortchanged public schools and other core services.
Tax cuts – Those who support the governor’s tax plan and insist it is a “conservative” measure that creates jobs are delusional. Few businesses have saved enough money for a full-time employee. And a tax savings of a few thousand dollars a year isn’t what drives job creation; it’s an increase in demand for a company’s product.