Here we go again. The Missouri General Assembly has passed yet another deeply flawed tax-cut scheme that would threaten our ability to provide even the most basic education to our students. When fully implemented, Senate Bill 509 would reduce state revenue by at least $620 million and state funding for our schools by about $223 million.
State budget cuts required to cope with that revenue loss would have serious consequences for students throughout our state, including larger class sizes, less technology in classrooms, fewer children able to attend preschool, and fewer teachers and counselors.
Right now, the General Assembly is falling short of its own legal obligation to fund our public schools to the tune of more than $600 million. We need to fully fund the foundation formula that provides state money for our schools before we begin the discussion about tax cuts.
Whether they intended it or not, legislators have approved a dangerous and irresponsible bill that would have a very negative effect on Missouri’s public school students for many years to come and threaten our ability to provide them with the education they need and deserve.
Grain Valley Steve Rose column
Steve Rose has done his homework (5-4, Commentary, “Kansas takes from the poor to help the rich”). In his column, he is correct when he writes Kansas takes from the poor and gives to the rich.
Add to that the 78,400 Kansas adults who have no health insurance. Their income is too low to qualify for purchasing health insurance and too high to qualify for Medicaid.
Accepting federal dollars for Medicaid expansion would mean health insurance for these people, many of whom are employed. In the meantime, Kansans who pay federal income tax are paying for Medicaid in the states that have accepted those federal dollars.
For more information, see “News” on the Kansas Health Institute website (khi.org).
Virginia A. Stuhr
Overland Park Government week
Local government directly affects you and your family every day. It keeps your family safe, your water clean and your roads paved.
This spring, Kansas City launched Community Engagement University, a free, seven-week program that teaches participants how local government operates, highlighting the services government provides us every day. We hope that participants will share what they learn with the community to help build an even better Kansas City.
For example, did you know Kansas City crews are responsible for the maintenance and repair of 6,400 lane miles of roads?
It’s important that we not forget how vital these services are for the Kansas City area. Missouri is celebrating Local Government Week this week. It’s the perfect time to take a moment to thank local officials or to learn more about the work they do for you.
Teach your kids to consider how these services affect your family, and perhaps consider getting involved yourself.
Councilwoman Discriminatory bills
The proposed laws in Kansas and other states that would permit businesses and government employees, claiming “religious beliefs,” to refuse service to anyone are abhorrent. The targets are apparently lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender individuals, but the vague wording of such bills is alarming.
Such a law would present a slippery slope. “Religious beliefs” could be claimed to justify refusal of service on an even broader scale.
In the past, businesses and governments routinely refused service on racial and religious grounds. Segregation was a fact of life. Even outside the South, African-Americans could not eat in many restaurants, stay in many hotels or even be treated in many hospitals.
Jews encountered similar obstacles, and “No Irish Need Apply” signs were common in the early 20th century.
We passed laws outlawing discrimination, but discriminatory conduct based on sexual identity and on ethnic, racial and religion still exists.
Society is not perfect. But at the very least, we should not allow foolish, misguided state legislators to give such discriminatory behavior a legal stamp of approval.
Overland Park Royals struggle
After feeling what it was like to win last year, the Kansas City Royals are back to being “Royal.” What a joke it is.
The organization doesn’t understand the lack of trust from the fans. This team is lucky it even has any fans left.
I have been a diehard fan for 33 years and season ticket holder for six. But I think it’s time to just be a fan.
After hearing about the “process” for eight years now, we still have nothing to show for it. We have yet to develop a starting pitcher or impact bat in that time. I hope Yordano Ventura is that pitcher, but it won’t matter because of our abysmal hitting.
I am tired of hearing excuses or hearing the season is young. We have been hearing the same message for most of the last 29 years.
So, Royals, until you can actually do something more accomplishing than finishing .500 every 10 years, we don’t owe you anything.
Paola, Kan. Erasing pleasures
I think the government does not understand people who are poor (5-5, A1, “Airing out public housing”).
We have so few pleasures in life. We smoke cigarettes because they are cheaper than cigars. We drink beer because it is cheaper than fine wines. We do cheap drugs because we cannot afford expensive drugs that doctors give to the rich.
So it looks like the government is always picking on us poor. The Kansas City Housing Authority could set aside apartments for smokers and apartments for non-smokers.
The government is always trying to control the poor. Why doesn’t it try controlling the rich and leave us poor alone?
We have very few pleasures in life. The rich have plenty of pleasures in life.
Olathe Keystone Pipeline
Memo to Keystone XL Pipeline fighters: Give up. That oil is going to be refined and burned, regardless of what you do.
Here’s one way to stop it. Get Congress to declare war on Canada. March up through Manitoba, fight off the Mounties, pour a 100-foot-thick slab of reinforced concrete over the 200 square miles of oil sands country. While you are at it, do the same in Venezuela.
Try this instead: Spend that energy on telling the truth to the American public about climate change. Explain that it is caused by human action and it can be stopped by human action. And that if we don’t do it, we will be hated by our children and grandchildren, who will have to pay for our neglect. Tell people that 95 percent of the world’s climate scientists agree.
These are people with Ph.D.’s after their names who are interested only in the truth, not in selling us coal.
See “global warming” in Wikipedia.
St. Joseph TV miscommunication
Would someone at the broadcast media please learn how to pick up a dictionary? A script writer perhaps?
On one 6 p.m. newscast, it was said that the alcohol, tobacco and explosives department was using dogs to sniff out ballistics.
Definition of ballistics from the dictionary: the science or study of the motion of projectiles such as bullets, shells or bombs. How can a dog sniff that out?
Previously, it was reported that shell casings were recovered from inside several cars that had been shot at. The projectile is called a bullet. The part of a cartridge that often is ejected from the firearm after a bullet is fired is the shell casing.
The shell casing could be recovered only from the area where the gun was fired, not from where the bullet ended up.
I wonder how much other misinformation is put out because the incorrect words are used.