Editorial: Hope for 2019

photo by: Journal-World Photo Illustration

Lawrence Journal-World Editorial

As the sun sets on 2018, it’s an ideal time to look ahead and hope for a few things in the new year.

First, here’s hoping the federal government will reopen soon and that our leaders in Washington resolve to make federal government shutdowns a thing of the past. While politicians — with President Trump playing the role of ringleader — engage in a game of political chicken, the lives of thousands of federal employees, including members of the military, are forced to suffer financially.

Beyond the shutdown, here’s hoping that the newly elected Democratic Congress will do more than serve as an obstruction to President Trump and instead seize the opportunity to actually govern by finding common ground with the Republican-controlled Senate to get bills passed.

Similarly, here’s hoping Kansas legislators paid close attention to the 2018 election as they prepare to get the 2019 session started. Voters chose Democratic Sen. Laura Kelly to serve as governor, rejecting the extreme conservatism of Republican candidate Kris Kobach. Republicans remain in firm control of the Kansas House and Senate, but the election of Kelly signals voters’ desire for pragmatic, bipartisan action from the Legislature, especially on core issues such as public education, health care and transportation funding.

Here’s hoping legislators continue to bring greater transparency to state government. Though some progress has been made on this front during recent sessions, Kansas remains one of the worst states for open government. Access to public records remains too restrictive, and fees remain too high and too random. No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, open government is always the best government.

Here’s hoping Douglas County and the city of Lawrence are able to recruit and hire new leaders to fill the rather large shoes of outgoing Douglas County Administrator Craig Weinaug and outgoing Lawrence City Manager Tom Markus. The city and county have enjoyed highly competent leadership for many years now, setting a high bar for future leaders.

Finally, here’s hoping that 2019 brings peace, joy and prosperity to our fellow Lawrencians as well as those across the state. A happy new year to you all.


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