Thanks are due

As we begin to reflect on this past Kansas Legislative Session, and a possible Special Session to come, we are reminded that almost to a person, the legislators in Topeka have come to serve. We may disagree with their positions, sometimes vehemently, but they all chose, at one time, to serve the public. For that, we are grateful.

Many of them have sacrificed for this service. For some it is their peace of mind, as they wrestle with problems that have no clear solution. For others, a career has been put on hold, or a family has been seen less often. For many, there have been long hours and longer drives. For this commitment, we are grateful.

This session ended with some questions, about the government's path towards transparency, about the state's empathy towards those without health care, about our commitment to respecting the diversity of ALL Kansans.

But we also ended with a significant victory that should not be overshadowed. Last year's session ended with tax reform, and this year's budget reflected that. Strides were made towards paying back retirement funds to KPERS, to reducing sweeps from the Department of Transportation, to restoring some cuts to higher education, to our commitments to early childhood and the care of our elderly, to disaster relief, water funding, and more. None of these are where they should be, but the path is upward.

But easily the most impressive win of the session was the steadfast voting to reject yet another irresponsible tax cut. Ultra-conservatives on the cusp of an election season have claimed that legislators who voted responsibly have "raised taxes!" Instead, they wanted to slash $500 million from Kansas' revenues over the next five years, and would have scuttled all the positive changes in this year's budget. They would have us back to mortgaging retirements, stealing from roads and bridges, raising college tuition, expanding the underserved margins of Kansas society. "Spend less," they will say. But Kansas schools have been certified as extremely efficient already. Ten year infrastructure plans have been repeatedly delayed already. State agencies like the Department of Children and Families need more staff, not less. Other agencies are outsourcing our data security because they cannot pay for it in house.

The legislators who stood for Kansas are those who understand that government has a duty to help ALL Kansans.

For them, we are grateful. Thank you.

Let your legislators know that you appreciate their public service. Look them up at to see their lifetime MainStream score, and send them an email:

It starts here. With you. Do more than vote.

Do you like this post?
Sign Up

if you are new to MainStream.

Sign In

if you're a Member or part of our network.