While professing to love small government, the Kansas Legislature this week bulked up the state’s bureaucracy, passing three laws that get the government more involved in the lives of its residents. In all three cases, lawmakers’ energies were directed toward solving problems that didn’t exist.
Meanwhile, Kansas faces a funding crisis that could have long-term and disastrous effects on education and quality of life in the state. In response, these same legislators sit slack-jawed, professing powerlessness, almost intentionally avoiding anything approaching creative budget solutions.
To sum up the week, the Legislature sent to Gov. Sam Brownback:
A ban on abortions at 22 weeks of pregnancy or later.
The law, if in effect in 2010, would have halted exactly one abortion. In addition, abortions after 22 weeks are almost always the result of tragic circumstances, the terminations of wanted pregnancies where something has gone horribly wrong. Only a truly intrusive government meddles in a family’s private tragedy.
A bill making it harder for minors to bypass parental consent and creating a monthly reporting requirement for judges who grant permission for minors to obtain abortions.
Again, in 2010 only five minors obtained judicial permission to bypass their parents before obtaining abortions in Kansas. Exactly what is gained by requiring monthly reporting on something that almost never happens is unclear, but a good guess would be to intimidate the state’s judges.
This Big Brother tidbit is included in a law requiring minors seeking abortions to have the permission of both parents, instead of having to notify one parent. This is trampling on family dynamics and would seem about as far from the “getting government out of our lives” as laws can get.
A bill requiring people to present photo identification before casting ballots.
To read the complete editorial, visit www.kansascity.com.