Opinion Columns & Blogs

Legislators should clarify petition process for future

If Wichita voters approve an ordinance April 7 lessening the crime of first-time marijuana possession, will the ordinance go into effect or will the state step in to challenge it? Amid the confusion, there is one obvious move lawmakers should make for the future: They should clarify K.S.A. 12-3013, the state law that put Wichita in this position, so municipalities know what to do if an ordinance pushed via a successful petition drive conflicts with state law. As it is, the statute says that if a city governing body is presented with such a petition it must either approve the ordinance “without alteration” or put it to voters. And that if a majority votes for the ordinance, it “shall thereupon become a valid and binding ordinance of the city.” – Rhonda Holman