Lawmakers love telling locals what to do

Local officials across the state are frustrated by all the legislation in Topeka that would impose new mandates and restrictions on local governments. Wichita City Council member Peter Meitzner told the Topeka Capital-Journal that there were six or seven bills in Topeka that would have a direct impact on how a city operates – such as restriction on how cities and counties raise property-tax revenue, where they can ban guns, and whether they can spend their tax dollars on sustainable development. There also are a number of bills that would place new mandates on local school boards. What’s ironic is that these bills are being proposed by limited-government conservatives (some of them from Sedgwick County). “The Legislature and individual legislators hate it when the feds mandate for them – unfunded or not – things they have to do,” said Rich Eckert, Shawnee County’s attorney. “However, they have very little compunction about turning around and doing the same thing to local units of government in Kansas. And I don’t understand that.”