Twice in the past three months, Kansas state legislators have swaggered into meetings to pressure Johnson Countians to do their bidding.
Most recently, a delegation of state lawmakers showed up to talk to the Johnson County Commission on Aging, basically telling the group not to publish an article critical of a state law passed in 2014. This disrespectful attempt at censorship was led by Shawnee Republican Mary Pilcher-Cook.
The legislation would allow Kansas to create a “health care compact” that essentially could allow states to get health care funding without following federal regulations.
The volunteer commission is concerned that the new plan could undermine the effective use of Medicare funds in Kansas. Panel members have the right to research an issue of particular importance to them, then state their opinions.
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The group ought to publish its paper as scheduled next month in The Best Times, a newsletter for seniors published by the Johnson County Commission.
The commission on aging should not be deterred by threats issued by state lawmakers, who looked petty in trying to defend their legislation.
The first example of meddling from state lawmakers came in July, when several showed up to tell the Johnson County Commission not to raise property taxes in the next fiscal year.
Commissioners meekly obeyed.
Unfortunately, if county revenues from mortgage registration fees don’t come in as strongly as state lawmakers claimed they would, cuts to basic services for county residents could occur in 2015 .
Early indications from revenue figures indicate state officials could be proven wrong, which would be bad news for Johnson Countians.