Location: Halstead, Kansas, United States

This is my seventh year at Halstead which is also where I live with my wife and my soon to be two year old daughter.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A Kansas Constitutional Crisis?

Okay, I received an interesting document and I would like to know everyones opinion but first the recap. The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled the current method used for public education to be flawed. They have ordered the legislature to fund an extra $143 million for schools in Kansas. This increases the ENTIRE state budget by about 10%. Just to give you an idea it would take an extra 41% increase in income taxes to pay for this or increasing the sales taxe by 8.5%. The topper is that the legislature has until July 1 to comply. Well, the right wing fiscal conservatives have gone on the rampage. They scream activism, tax increases, judicial short sightedness, and lack of public oversight in the judicial branch. This led to me getting the following document written by a Southeast Kansas legislator from a poorer part of the state. Here is what it says:

Needless to say I am shocked at the highly ACTIVIST decision of our Kansas Supreme Court.

I have now read emails from Mike O'Neal, Brenda Landwehr, and Bob Corkins and agree with all they have to say.

I too have contemplated the following course of action:

  1. Set up a meeting as suggested by Brenda Landwehr in Wichita to organize a united front, before we are called into special session.
  2. Or Volunteer to go several days early to Topeka before the Special Session starts to organize a counter plan.
  3. Boycott the special session altogether - this I think would be a bad choice as many of my constituents would consider this action as running from the issue.
  4. Go to the special session and wait for Gov. Sebelius to meet with the Court and offer a plan, agreeable with the court, for the legislature to vote up or down. We can just sit and wait and enjoy the sights of Topeka!
  5. Go to the special session and vote NO! Then appeal to the US Supreme Court.
  6. Commission one of our gifted Lawyer Legislators (such as Mike O'Neal) to author and launch impeachment proceedings for all 6 Kansas Supreme Court Judges, on the basis that they themselves are violating the Constitutional Separation Of Powers. This would be a FIRST nationally and one I like as this kind of action may also inspire other states to follow our lead. WE NEED TO PUT A STOP INTO THE ACTIVIST AGENDA OF OUR COURTS.
  7. Go ahead and vote "yes" for the additional $143 million for the schools, but also provide for a voucher to any parent of say $5,000 and give the parent the choice of sending their child to any private school of their liking. Home schoolers would get a $2,000 tax deduction if they pay any taxes. The balance over and above the $5,000 or the $2,000 can go to the schools to placate the KNEA. This will not cost the State anything other than the money demanded by the court, but will significantly introduce competition into the K-12 education scenario.

The impression I am getting from most of my constituents is that they resent having their elected legislators by-passed by unelected court judges. Doug Mays -- we await your marching orders!

FOR DISCUSSION: I personally do not see the current state of affairs in the same light as this legislator but I am open to alot of different ideas. What do you think of this lawmaker's ideas and how would you respond?


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