Local Columns

Opinion: Home rule and popular sovereignty

One of the simplest ways to define politics is as a struggle for power. This power struggle has flared up again. The Legislature began its 2023 session by introducing a bill that would further disrupt the current power division between state and local entities and also undermine Kansas ...

Opinion: ESAs diminish ideal of public schools

Consistent with conservative wishes when it comes to K-12 education, the 2023 “A better way” legislative agenda Kansas Republicans released a few days ago leans toward support for school choice Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). Any significant upside in this is that the legislative ...

Opinion: How to really help Kansas’ rural minority

Kansas’s rural identity is struggling. Partly this is because it’s not entirely accurate. The state’s population of 2.9 million is concentrated in the cities and suburbs of the Topeka-Lawrence-Kansas City nexus, with nearly 1.2 million Kansans spread across only five counties. Add to ...

Opinion: No more legislation written by lobbyists

I’ve got the perfect New Year’s resolution for Kansas legislators: no more lobbyist-authored bills. Last year, Kansas lawmaking was marked by two dramatic “fails,” both involving lobbyist-authored acts. One of them failed, the other passed, and both were problematic. First came ...

Opinion: Stay politically engaged in new year

With great power comes great responsibility. This phrase has been uttered time and time again and is applicable to a wide range of situations, especially in politics. On Jan. 9, the Kansas Legislature will start its 2023 legislative session. But it’s not a statewide election year, so many ...

Opinion: The value of strong public schools

Traditionally during the holidays, thoughtful moments of gratitude, goodwill and peace push away the frenzy of gift giving and parties with fancy food. We take stock of the past and look toward the coming year. Recent months have seen much worried talk about the fragility of Kansas public ...