Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed the controversial (to put it mildly) education bill that attempts to correct funding inequities but also includes a serious threat to teachers job security and an opportunity for donors to write off most of the cost of sending certain students to private schools.
The Kansas Board of Regents appears to be digging in deeper on curbing freedom of speech on university campuses. This week, a work group of university faculty and other employees found that the board's policy on social media has had a chilling effect on open dialogue in academia. The regents then confirmed what had been feared on campuses: The work group was windowdressing.
Peggy Battin, of all people, understands that life-and-death decisions are fraught with conflicts and ambiguity. Medical personnel give mixed signals. Loved ones dont want to let go. Even Battin, after all her studies and intellectual wrangles, did not want to say goodbye to her husband, Brooke, when he felt it was time to go.
The provocative question of how big data will affect medicine and patient privacy is getting a lot of attention at the National Institutes of Health. Respect for persons requires patient permission to share DNA data, says NIH Director Francis Collins. Most Americans wouldnt have it any other way. But persuasion is important, too.
Health care reform has been like a big boulder scraping up a hill. And theres a long distance yet to climb. But the system is fairer and better now than it was when President Barack Obama began his push five years ago, and Kathleen Sebelius has been in the middle of it all.
Kansas is in deep fiscal trouble. We are flat broke, said Democratic Sen. Laura Kelly, the ranking minority member of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. So how are the Republicans in charge responding to this crisis? By giving money away, of course.
Voters who want to see the Hickman Mills School District make progress should ignore the vile and illegal cxampaign mailings received over the weekend and support Bonnaye Mims, Dan Osman and Karry Palmer for school board. The mailings are a sign of hos desperate a certain faction is to disrupt the struggling district and exert a poisonous influence.
OK, no more late-night meetings for the Kansas Senate. They get into too much trouble after dark. Members approved an absolutely awful education bill in the wee hours of Friday morning. Lets hope a common-sense approach prevails when the House and Senate get together to reconcile differences in their bills.
Psst, Missouri legislators. Your arrogance is showing. One day its a group of state senators haughtily declaring they dont want to be bothered with further talk about Medicaid expansion. Another day its a couple of House members berating a pastor who visited the Capitol to correctly warn that a bill purporting to regulate payday lending would instead lead to more and larger debt traps.
Republicans in the Missouri Senate came back from spring break with a harsh message for anyone holding out hope for Medicaid expansion: Nothing to see here. Move on. Sen. John Lamping conducted a question-and-answer session with like-minded opponents on the Senate floor. Why is this somehow our problem? asked Kurt Schaefer, from Columbia.
Eventually Missouri, Kansas and the other holdout states will expand Medicaid. The successes of states that are doing so now will leave lawmakers with no choice. But the early resistance is costing the holdouts millions of dollars in federal reimbursements.
It could take days or weeks or years to learn why Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 flew so wildly off course. Perhaps an eternity. And it doesnt have to be that way. Its incredible that we still rely on the black box to solve aviation mysteries when technology exists to live stream flight data in real time.
Theres always a chance that U.S. District Judge Eric Melgrens ruling on voter registration will not stand on appeal. But for now, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and others who wish to make restrict voting have won a significant victory.
Maybe the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has nothing to do with Malaysia. Or China, the intended destination. Perhaps a simple mechanical failure brought down the plane. Whatever we finally learn, this quirky southeast Asian nation, which has somehow prospered despite secrecy and contractions, is likely to be forever changed.
Heres a disconnect for you. Sixty-four percent of Americans now say they want to keep the Affordable Care Act around. Yet Republicans in Congress and state legislatures remain obsessed with Obamacare and spend vast amounts of time coming up with creative ways to undermine the law.
What I dont understand is why the Kansas GOP is going to such lengths to undercut its own candidates. Moderates are Republicans too, right? Well, at least they used to be. Their party now seems to be disavowing them. Whatever is going on here, the big tent is nowhere to be found.
Some people worry about the election coming up in April in the Hickman Mills School District. Ten people, including Breman Anderson, are running for three open seats. It wouldnt take much to tip the boards delicate balance. But history isnt likely to repeat itself in Hickman Mills. Because this time, well all be watching.
With their bill that would prevent voters from changing their party affiliations from June 1 to Sept. 1., Kansas Republicans want to fix something that isnt broken. The Legislature should stuck with the current law, or better yet, go with a system like Missouris, where primary voters can request whichever partys ballot they prefer, regardless of their affiliation.
A report by Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich paints a picture of the Hickman Mills School District running amok. Schweich’s audit is a saga of contracts being awarded without bids, wasteful travel by some board members and employees, multiple questionable expenditures, hefty amounts of money spent on meals, improperly closed meetings and some very strange personnel moves.
In the tilted universe of Jefferson City, an additional registration requirement for gun purchases is seen as a far greater threat than the prospect of more guns ending up in the hands of criminals. Still, gun-safety advocates should use a study by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research to keep up the pressure.
The 2012 elections kicked pragmatic lawmakers with years of experience to the curb, replacing them with people with right-wing political leanings and not much else. The Kansas Legislature would be funny if it werent so scary. People of Kansas, look at which legislators are embarrassing your state and send them packing at election time.
This is the rare scenario that causes lasting horrors in a community a child doing something perfectly normal, snatched out of her life and into a nightmare. It doesnt happen often, thank heavens. But when it does, it serves as a reminder for parents to hug their kids and tell them once again to steer clear of strangers who try to engage them even in simple conversation.
A change in Missouri gun policy that passed with relatively little attention seven years ago caught the eye of a team of researchers, who now say the change was responsible for an uptick in violent crimes in the state, including an additional 60 or so homicides a year.
Weak-kneed enforcement has enabled the for-profit college sector to shrug off its outrageous practices with callous disregard for taxpayers and the many people who leave its campuses worse off than when they enrolled. Now the companies and their investors are reportedly worried. It is past time to turn the tables.
Some Republicans already are saying that a deal to cut taxes that meets Gov. Jay Nixons conditions would be too small. But its also clear they dont want another veto defeat just before the fall elections. So this might be the year we see some long-awaited reform of tax credits, along with a limited tax cut.