Because local dissent makes it harder to pass legislation in Topeka, Sedgwick County’s opposition might mean trouble for an anti-blight bill sought by the city of Wichita. So it was encouraging to see a Senate panel amend and advance the measure last week, enabling further consideration of its potential to help cities do something about abandoned but salvageable homes with the help of nonprofit groups such as Habitat for Humanity and Mennonite Housing. A six-month span seems short to establish a property as abandoned and subject to city seizure, but the goal of the legislation is good. Legislators should bear in mind not only property rights but also property values, public safety and neighborhood well-being. – Rhonda Holman
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