To the editor,
I listened to Governor Laura Kelly give her “State of the State Address” to the Kansas Legislature on Jan. 24th. One thing that struck me was that the leadership officeholders of the Legislature were sitting in their (literal) cushy seats and were actually rocking their chairs which have a rocking-chair capability back and forth as if they were bored. One man appeared to be either chewing gum or chewing his cud. I don’t care what party the Governor is, nor care which party that man is affiliated with: That night is a time for respect and decorum. The legislators were there to hear a constitutionally mandated report. The least they could do is be dignified while listening.
One other thing I noticed was that the room was divided with Republicans on one side and Democrats on the other side. Many times, Governor Kelly got ovations from her own party, while the other party sat stone-faced silent. That division doesn’t look good. I don’t care who you are. It looked petty.
If legislators cannot present a fair and balanced audience on their own, they need to enter the Rotunda of the Capitol and have imposed assigned seats: Republican/Democrat/Republican/Democrat as far as the math holds-out.
Getting back to the sales-tax on food. It should cease immediately. Such a tax is a regressive tax since it hits the poor hardest as a percentage of their income. Although the rich may eat slightly higher priced foods, it isn’t much higher than poor people. A rich person’s stomach and a poor person’s stomach can only hold so much. To a rich man, a box of cereal is miniscule in its cost and taxation; yet it might mean a lot to a working father’s budget.
The Governor and the Legislature must get along on this issue – and others. Being divisive only hurts Kansans. It is high-time to solve issues that will benefit Kansans.
James A. Marples