For our particular, year-end version of the Kansas Reflector podcast, editor in chief Sherman Smith invited senior reporter Tim Carpenter and myself to debate six huge matters from 2021. To accompany that podcast, I appeared by the opinion part archives for columns tackling these topics. A few of these items echo our exchanges, whereas others take them in new instructions altogether.
Take heed to the podcast, browse the columns and put together your self for one more huge yr of Kansas information in 2022. I encourage you to get some relaxation earlier than the annual legislative session begins up Jan. 10.
My illustrious predecessor within the opinion editor chair, C.J. Janovy, writes: “Kansas could be frozen, however it’s not but a chilly sufficient day in tax-cut hell for some Republicans to repent.
“Final Tuesday, as temperatures outdoors fell to cattle-threatening single digits, a majority of Republicans within the Kansas Senate barreled towards sanity-threatening triple digits, passing a package of tax cuts that would value the state $600 million. On Thursday, they rang up one other $10 million by deciding to spend public cash to assist extra children go to private religious schools.”
From yours really: “Opposition to COVID-19 vaccine mandates doesn’t imply you’re against the COVID-19 vaccine. That’s been the talking point from conservative leaders. Former president Trump even said you wouldn’t want mandates if he was president due to his gross sales expertise.
“With the Kansas Legislature’s particular anti-mandate session starting immediately, I believed I’d put that speaking level to the check. I reached out to the 11 members of the 2021 Special Committee on Government Overreach and the Impact of COVID-19 Mandates, which paved the way in which for the session, to ask two questions.”
Aarushi Pore writes: “Within the land that guarantees liberty and justice for all, the constitutional rights of many are being revoked. Texas has banned abortions after six weeks of being pregnant — earlier than most individuals know they’re pregnant — with no exceptions for rape or incest.
“The regulation additionally locations a bounty, fairly actually, on people looking for abortions and permits non-public residents to trace them. This infringes upon the fundamental human proper of entry to well being care and creates a harmful atmosphere. These in want may put their lives in danger merely to obtain primary well being care.
“Kansans ought to be involved that their state Legislature is about to do the identical. Anti-choice and anti-Structure politicians in Topeka have made it extraordinarily clear that legal guidelines like these are what they need to go right here in Kansas.”
Essential race idea
Rachel Showstack writes: “The Kansas State Board of Schooling launched an announcement in July clarifying that CRT shouldn’t be part of Kansas’s educational requirements. Nonetheless, the board’s assertion doesn’t converse to the actual downside: in a lot of the general public discourse on this matter, CRT is being conflated with different educating approaches associated to social fairness.
“When an establishment that oversees Ok-12 schooling boldly denies that its school train CRT, we now have a recipe for widespread censorship.”
Gray Endres writes: “Kansas youngsters and households served by the kid welfare system deserve accountability, transparency and a really impartial Office of the Child Advocate to offer oversight of our state’s foster care system.
“The Workplace of the Little one Advocate is a greatest apply mannequin that has been efficient in different states. Its position is to step in on behalf of youngsters and households who’re experiencing unfair remedy in addition to subject suggestions for bettering insurance policies and practices for the system. By establishing clear, impartial oversight, this workplace may also stop pointless removals that in flip will cut back the traumatic affect of poorly managed little one welfare.”
Paul Samberg writes: “Kansans of all political preferences celebrated earlier this month when the Kansas Home of Representatives passed a bill in favor of medical marijuana.
“Whereas HB 158 handed with a 79-42 vote, indicating progress on the marijuana entrance, it nonetheless faces opposition within the Senate.
“And regardless that one chamber handed this invoice, it’s lengthy overdue. Of all 50 states, 36 have legalized medical marijuana.
“It’s additionally properly previous the time for Kansas lawmakers to legalize not simply medicinal use but in addition leisure use of marijuana.”