Archive for Thursday, March 25, 2010

Turf battle

State legislators are finding ways to keep themselves occupied while awaiting new revenue figures.

March 25, 2010


Assuming Gov. Mark Parkinson signs the measure approved by the Kansas Senate on Wednesday, Kansans will be able to breath a huge sigh of relief.

Finally, Kansas has an official state grass.

According to news reports earlier this month, little bluestem was a compromise choice after the Kansas House rejected amendments to honor big bluestem, which is dominant in eastern Kansas, and buffalo grass, which is dominant in the west. Wouldn’t it be great if all such east-west conflicts in the state could be solved so easily?

The effort to name a state grass — to go along with the state bird, flower, tree, animal, reptile, song and soil — was pushed by a group of students from Johnson County. Such initiatives often are looked upon as a way to help students get interested in and learn more about the legislative process. Maybe next time such an effort is launched by Kansas school children, legislators could offer a lesson in how much it costs taxpayers to work bills that have questionable value to the state.

Most legislators contend that they really can’t get serious about balancing the state budget until after they receive additional revenue estimates next month, so maybe they have time to debate what grass best represents the state. It probably is a better use of their energy than approving a bill that would allow concealed guns to be carried on state university campuses, as the Kansas House did on Wednesday.

So let’s hear it for little bluestem, the latest official symbol of the state of Kansas. Long may it wave.


Paul R Getto 7 years, 11 months ago

Not all that unusual, as the Legislature usually treads water for a few weeks. In this year of the manufactured budget crisis, it's worse and there are more diversions. Things will break loose in May, but it will probably be too late to help schools and other agencies plan staffing needs for next year. Talk to your representatives and see where they stand on the budget issue. Finding those courageous enough to take the first steps may be difficult, but the markers will eventually move and some small steps will likely be taken to soften the blows. No matter what, state services will be at risk for a period of time, perhaps years.

KawHawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Blame the nitwit teachers who think it's so cute and wonderful for their little charges to write to their legislators and ask to have a "state __." Keep this up and eventually we'll run out of think to class the "state _".

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