Kansas is becoming increasingly urbanized, but rural legislators still have a lot of work to do. From declining enrollment in schools to agriculture and water, it’s time for rural legislators to put away the culture war stuff and focus on rural Kansas’ real issues, wrote Russell Fox in last week’s column.
Smith: Lobbyists Have Too Much Influence Over Writing Legislation
Lobbyists have a right to influence legislation, but in today’s Kansas and other legislatures, they are increasingly taking over the process of actually writing it. This is bad for democracy and leads to bad policy, wrote Michael Smith in last week’s column.*
*Note: To clarify, the Kansas Revisor of Statutes does write the final language of bills and amendments considered by the Kansas Legislature. However, Dr. Smith stands by his point about lobbyists having too much influence over the process.
Middlewood: Stay Engaged in Non-Election Years
It may not be an election year in 2023, but citizens still need to stay active and engaged, because there is plenty at stake, wrote Alex Middlewood in last week’s column.
Iorio: The Value of Strong Public Schools
The Holidays are a time to take stock of those things for which we are grateful. Those include strong, accountable public schools, wrote Sharon Iorio in her most recent column.
Miller, final post: What Impact Will the Respect for Marriage Act have on Kansas?
This week we say goodbye to Patrick Miller, who is leaving IK to pursue other projects. We’ve enjoyed working with you, Patrick! For his final column, he considered what impact the new federal Respect for Marriage Act will have on Kansas, in light of possible, forthcoming Court rulings.
Fox: How Do We Deal With Political Disagreement
A recent dispute between Kansas Supreme Court Justice Caleb Stegall and the other KU Law faculty begs the question, how do we deal with personal and political conflict? Russell Fox pondered this question in last week’s column.
Smith: The Past, Present, and Future of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Name
There are growing calls from Native American advocates to change the Kansas City Chiefs’ Name. But that name comes with a complicated history, wrote Michael Smith in last week’s column.
Miller: What Form of Democracy Do Kansans Want?
Direct democracy involves the people voting or participating directly in policymaking, while representative or republican democracy means electing representatives who make policy on our behalf, who then sit for judgment at re-election time. But Kansas has developed a disturbing trend–the re-election of Legislative majorities who vote against the clear preferences of most Kansans on issues like abortion rights, Medicaid expansion, and medical marijuana. This is a problem, wrote Patrick Miller in last week’s column.
Iorio: What Does a Conservative School Board Mean for Kansas?
Republicans took all five open seats on the Kansas School Board this year, leading them to a seven to three advantage over Democrats. What does the new, conservative majority mean for school vouchers, a “parents’ bill of rights,” and other decisions affecting Kansas schools? Sharon Iorio surveyed what’s at stake in her latest column.
Alex Middlewood Reviews Early Lessons from the 2022 Eleciton
The 2022 election is now in the books, with just a few ballots left to count. What are the takeaways? Alex Middlewood offered her early, post-election thoughts in last week’s column.