ELLIS, Kan. - The legislature has now adjourned, and the governor has signed the budget that was the primary responsibility of the women and men we elected to represent us during the session. Because a state budget is an expression of our priorities and values as Kansans, it should not be surprising that there are multiple and competing interpretations about what it all means.
Some Kansans are aghast. The state with John Steuart Curry murals in the capitol building no longer has a state-funded arts commission. K-12 funding has been set back to levels we have not seen in nearly two decades. Commitment to higher education is stagnate, although the anxiety level of anyone who works in the public sector is through the roof. And in a climate of financial crisis we are actually going to spend more money to make voting harder. As a northwest Kansas Democrat who cares about working across partisan and ideological divides for the good of Kansas, I am one of those who worries about the direction our state is headed.