Legislators, shine some light
The League of Women Voters Wichita Metro urges all Kansas legislators to put names on bills, record significant votes, limit gut-and-go, and vote for new rules that prevent overly-partisan blocking of the legislative process.
All bills introduced in Kansas should contain the names of the originators, like in most states. More than 90% of our laws passed in the past decade were anonymous, meaning we don’t know who is pushing legislation and who benefits. Bills are worked in committee meetings where significant votes are taken only by a show of hands and there is no record of how each representative voted. Gut-and-go strips a bill of its content and replaces it with a completely unrelated measure, and some Kansas legislators have made a practice of using it to quickly introduce and pass controversial legislation. Finally, we ask for rules to be changed for how chairs and committees are selected and on scheduling. Rules should not be so partisan that they allow majority leadership and committee chairs to single-handedly and secretively prevent votes on properly introduced and worked bills.
Kansas state government is one of the least transparent in the nation and its time to shine some light on how our laws are made by changing the way we pass bills. Please, urge your legislators to remove the secrecy tools that continue to remain in place.
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Laura Thompson and Pat Reinhold, co-presidents, League of Women Voters Wichita Metro
Negotiate for all
An open letter to the president and all representatives and senators of the United States:
I ask you to please put aside politics and pride. Please respect each other and work together for the good of all of the citizens of the United States of America. I ask you, please, negotiate your positions on the wall and come up with a compromise solution that will allow the US to move forward. Maybe, we build part of a wall now in the locations where it is considered most needed and increase technical surveillance other places.
Leaders, please, for the good of the all US citizens, including all the people that won’t get paid, negotiate working-together solutions for this problem and future problems.
John Cochran, Pratt
Workers paying the price
My oldest son and his wife are considered essential government workers. They have two daughters in college and still pay a mortgage. They have gone for three weeks without pay even though they go to work every day.
This is all because of a wall that will be a monument to a president who has lied constantly about just about everything, including that terrorists and criminals are coming in the United States to harm us. The truth is that few terrorists and criminals are coming here. Those who want to come here are those seeking asylum from dangerous conditions in their own countries.
In addition, our president has undocumented immigrants working at his golf club and other establishments. This president says he wasn’t aware of that. How could he miss knowing that? I guess he’s paying more attention to getting a wall than he is the hiring practices at his establishments.
This wall is an expensive bauble. There are cheaper and better ways to deal with immigrants. Democrats have put forward ideas for those methods to control immigration. However, the president will not comprise. In the meantime, government workers are paying the price for our president’s intransigence.
Diane Wahto, Wichita