Opinion Columns & Blogs

Public, state leaders often out of sync on issues

The annual Kansas Speaks statewide survey completed by the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University provides a good overview of what Kansans think about state issues – and more often than not, how that differs from policin than not, how that differs from policies pushed by state leaders. For example, 82 percent of respondents said Kansas teachers should have due-process rights to appeal dismissals – a state mandate that the Legislature and Gov. Sam Brownback revoked this past session. There is also strong public support, 59 percent, for medical marijuana – an issue state lawmakers don’t even want to discuss. And despite well-financed efforts to eliminate the state’s renewable energy standards, 75 percent of respondents said it was important for Kansas to devote resources to the development of wind energy. – Phillip Brownlee