Front Page » Table of Contents » Archive: Policy: May 2010

immigration.gifGREAT BEND, Kan. - Arizona has recently come under fire for its immigration bill. I have heard loud arguments from both sides regarding the legal implications of this law. Those arguments aside, we need to look at the big picture. Is this bill by itself going to be effective, or is it just a political ploy to satisfy those upset with illegal immigration? A lot of wording, but nothing more than the government creating more laws and creating a civil rights debate? I am not going to touch that aspect in this article; whether or not the bill is infringing on the rights of American Citizens.

According to Numbers USA and the PEW research center, both of which are bi-partisan studies, 7.7 million American jobs are held by illegal immigrants. The majority of immigrants come into America seeking jobs. Big business lures illegal immigrants in with the promise of a better life; a life where a man and woman can take care of their families, and live a relatively safe existence. The majority of illegal immigrants come to America for employment.

Is it cost effective for American's to go after illegal immigrants one at a time?

BASEHOR, Kan. - I'm torn. I can see both sides of an issue that's very dear to me: General Aviation flying, particularly from small community airports. As a smartaleck once said, "If a man can see both sides of a problem, you know that none of his money is tied up in it." Well, that's me: I don't have any money tied up in it directly. But, as a taxpayer and a community supporter, I do have money tied up in it.

There's a major effort underway in General Aviation (GA) to save as many small- and medium-sized airports as possible from shutting down and, at the same time, to protect the users of those airports from increased fees and taxes. General Aviation, by the way, is a term that refers to just about anything other than scheduled passenger service by the airlines.

EMPORIA, Kan. - Today brings news from China of another in a string of recent attacks on students by knife-wielding maniacs. Perhaps it is an inevitable sign of a society in transition and the lack of psychological services within China but what does that have to do with Kansas? Plenty!

Take a look at your regional state university. I don't have figures for Emporia State where my wife teaches but anybody in Emporia will tell you that the Chinese students make up a significant fraction of the student body. Almost all of these students are paying full out of state tuition rates which serves to keep the cost of in-state tuition lower for the locals.

UPDATED - See Below.

TOPEKA, Kan. - Buried in the 2011 Budget passed by the Kansas Legislature last week is a cut of 50% to the public radio and television stations in Kansas.

The Kansas House included a $903,161 cut in the annual budget allocation for public radio and television. The 50% cut affects stations statewide but has particular impact on stations in the western portion of the state, where the state funding represents a larger portion of the budget.

High Plains Public Radio (HPPR) has told its listeners that the station will see a cut of more than $120,000. Being that we are the doorstep of the new fiscal year, HPPR had already budgeted to receive the same allocation as they had in 2010.

For High Plains and the other public stations these cuts are drastic, without precedent, and threaten each public broadcasting station's ability to bring high-quality, independent, informative programs the state.

CERT: Community Emergency Response Team

BASEHOR, Kan. - Congress has provided funds through the Citizen Corps to assist local communities in quick response to emergency situations--particularly when first responders may be overwhelmed. These local programs, called Community Emergency Response Teams, allow groups of trained citizens to literally "care for themselves" by being first on the scene when disaster strikes. They're able to self organize and provide immediate assistance to their friends and neighbors while waiting for first responders. A multi-part training program is available, free of charge, to those who are interested.

TOPEKA, Kan. - Governor Mark Parkinson's recent 'call for civility' urges state lawmakers of both parties to come together to serve the common good:

Two weeks ago, in my letter to legislators welcoming them back for the veto session, I wrote about Kansas' ability to rise above the partisan bickering seen in Washington and come together to solve real problems.

Today, the 88th day of a 90 day Session, I am disappointed to see that civility slipping away. The political games, divisive debates and entrenched gridlock of Washington have found their way to Topeka. And fanning the flames of partisanship is the Kansas Chamber of Commerce.

This weekend, the president of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce was quoted as saying that by passing a one-cent sales tax to prevent further cuts to schools, Medicaid and safety-net services, the legislature has "catered to the needs of those at the government trough."

It is heartbreaking to think that somebody would equate the disabled, the elderly, school children, veterans, law enforcement and the poor to pigs at a trough...

GREAT BEND, Kan. - One of the reasons politicians move to the right, to the right, further to the right, is because that's where the money is. The 48 Kansas House of Representative members who voted for the "Yoder" budget, which would have resulted in major trauma to our schools, universities, social services, and law enforcement, ended up with the best of both worlds.

A group of Democrats and moderate Republicans stepped in and did the right thing, raising revenue to prevent a meltdown of our state institutions. So the 48 Yoderites
will not be blamed for a meltdown, plus they get to brag on their campaign brochures that they "rejected all tax increases."

WICHITA, Kan. - Kansas Secretary of Labor Jim Garner made some timely remarks on the importance of OSHA and unemployment compensation at the 2010 Workers' Memorial Day observance in Wichita, Kansas. The event was sponsored by the Wichita/Hutchinson Labor Federation.

Garner points out that the unemployment benefits program has pumped $1 billion into the Kansas economy in the last year.. OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, has led to a remarkable decline in deaths and injuries on the job.

john-brown-capitol-mural-anti-slavery.jpgGREAT BEND, Kan. - The Kansas House of Representatives today voted 79-44 to require preparation of a State Land and Property Inventory by Aug, 30, compilation of market values for each item by Nov. 30, and liquidation proposals by Jauary 31. The budget shortfall is that bad.

I come from an auctioneer family. So I hope you can forgive me a little literary license as I envision the highlights of the "State of Kansas Auction: Sell our Past for Our Childrens' Future," auction, to be held next Winter.

One can almost hear the auctioneer, kicking off the auction: "Our first item on the sale bill is the famous John Brown Mural located at the Kansas Statehouse. This priceless John Steuart Curry Mural can be safely removed from the wall and preserved for safekeeping and private display. Who would start the bidding at Ten Million Dollars?"

We have more! This page only lists entries in a particular month. We encourage you to look back through our archives in this same category.

The previous archive is Policy: April 2010. The next archive is Policy: June 2010.

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This is an archive page containing all of the stories posted to Kansas Free Press in one particular topic in a particular month. These stories were published in the Policy: May 2010 section.

The previous archive is Policy: April 2010. The next archive is Policy: June 2010.

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