Daily Archives: March 21, 2013

Leave statewide smoking law alone

The 2013 Legislature has spent time trying to undermine past legislatures’ decisions on the sales-tax sunset, the transportation plan, the state’s renewable-energy goals and more. But a new poll confirms that lawmakers should not repeal or weaken the Kansas Clean Indoor Air Act, which is more popular now than when it became law in 2010. In the poll, sponsored by Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans, 78 percent of registered voters and 81 percent of GOP primary voters said they support the law, which prohibits smoking in public spaces and workplaces including restaurants and bars. A January 2010 SurveyUSA poll had found that 65 percent favored a statewide smoking ban. The latest poll followed a Kansas Health Institute study last month that found “no apparent evidence that smoking bans in Kansas have been associated with a decrease in statewide restaurant and bar sales, or with a decrease in the number of establishments serving liquor.” The law does have one obvious flaw: the loophole for state-owned casinos.

Roberts says Obama can help get things done

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., was characteristically vivid in describing the meeting that he and other Senate Republicans had last week with President Obama. “He’s smothering us with the milk of human kindness and hoping it doesn’t curdle,” Roberts said. The Kansan also said that Republicans “tried to stress that it’s extremely helpful for the president to weigh in on some of these big-time issues. We have to have him if we’re going to get anything done.” After Obama’s previous visit to the Senate GOP caucus in 2010, Roberts famously told reporters that the president needed “to take a Valium” and had some “pretty thin-skinned” moments.