Daily Archives: Feb. 17, 2013

The most absurd piece of legislation so far this session

“Kansas Sen. Greg Smith, R-Overland Park, has introduced one of the most absurd pieces of legislation to ever see the light of day,” a Hutchinson News editorial complained. Senate Bill 119 would guarantee that state lawmakers who give notice to their employers before taking office can return to their former jobs – with the same pay, seniority and responsibility levels – if voters don’t re-elect them. “To think that they should enjoy a protection that’s not afforded to Kansans at large borders on the narcissistic, and is an insult to working families across the state,” the editorial said. A Kansas City Star editorial said that Smith “appears to have caught a touch of ‘capitolitis’” – an ailment “that causes loss of perspective and may make lawmakers think they are more important than others regard them.”

Immigration reform must also fix legal system

Of the major issues that President Obama mentioned in his State of the Union address, comprehension immigration reform might stand the best chance of occurring. Obama outlined reform concepts that have broad support among the public and growing bipartisan support in Congress, including increased border security and a pathway to citizenship. Sulma Arias, executive director of Sunflower Community Action in Wichita, applauded Obama for “creating a sense of urgency around fixing the broken immigration system.” But Arias said that sending immigrants “to the end of the line is not a solution, because it assumes that ‘the line’ is an equitable and a fair process.” She added: “Hundreds of thousands of people have been waiting for 12 years or more to become citizens. The broken immigration system promotes breaking the law because there is no way to play by the rules.”

Stop citing Iowa as example for basketball mandate

The bill filed in the Kansas Legislature to require the University of Kansas and Kansas State University to play Wichita State University in men’s basketball followed KU coach Bill Self’s statement to ESPN that “Iowa plays Northern Iowa because the state Legislature says you have to.” But “there is no such legislation in the state of Iowa in regard to scheduling for men’s basketball or football. It has been widely reported through the years, but has never been the case,” Colin McDonough, assistant athletic director at the University of Northern Iowa, told The Eagle editorial board. Legislative pressure did play a role in reaching an agreement to restart Iowa-Iowa State football games in the 1970s after a 43-year hiatus. Meanwhile, a member of the Texas House has filed a bill that would require an annual football game between Texas and Texas A&M.

So they said

“If I had his Romney/Obama numbers, I would never have to worry about re-election the rest of my life. He has a great district.” – Sen. Michael O’Donnell (in photo), R-Wichita, suggesting Sedgwick County Commissioner Karl Peterjohn’s constituents would support his testimony in favor of a bill to criminalize lobbying by public entities

“He wants to talk Wildcats. I want to talk Tigers. Compromise possible but not on that.” – Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., tweeting about her plans to sit with Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., at the State of the Union address as part of a three-way date including Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.