Editors question legislative methods

Editorial Board / Washburn Review

As an institute of higher learning, Washburn should always find lessons in everyday experiences. This recent run-in with a few Kansas state representatives has been most instructional.

This seems to be a case of “If they send one of ours to the hospital, we send one of theirs to the morgue.” Basically, the lesson is this: if the state denies your city airfield subsidies, try to cut funding from the only municipally owned university in the country.

Kansas Rep. Joe McLeland proposed to cut $5.5 million from Washburn’s state funding after a House Appropriations Committee cut $5 million in airfare subsidies from Wichita, McLeland’s home town.

And yes, we realize that this act was not merely retaliation. How do we know? Because a politician said so. And even though he has mentioned no other motivation for his proposal, we know that he is an honest politician.

Har har har.

Snide commentary and the fear of tuition hikes aside, we understand that the budget has to be balanced somewhere. Tightening our collective belts is never pleasant, and the whole state is going to have to make tough decisions. This, however, was not one of those.

Senators from all over the state have made it clear that Washburn should not fear a budget loss and that this measure was an impractical low blow.

In spite of assurances, the situation still leaves us wondering who is driving the lunacy of this political season? Between the blatantly racist Arizona-esque policy that is under debate, the proposal to cut state arts funding and attacks on public funding of university education, it seems that instead of trying to trim the budget, this Kansas state legislature is going back to colonial procedures of slash and burn.

Why take the time to read through bills to curb wasteful spending when we can just pass resolutions to defund programs entirely?

You’re totally right, Kansas legislature. Why trim sandwich crusts when you can just throw away the sandwich?

Sorry if the rhetoric gets redundant, it’s just politics. The point is that even if this measure is stopped by the senate, it’s tragic that this was even considered in the first place. We have to cut wasteful spending, and probably even reduce some Kansas luxury spending. But when pursuing legislative action, it seems that Rep. McLeland needs to remember that revenge is a dish best served cold. When you have to share the state with the same people you’re trying to screw over, it’s a dish best not served at all. Enjoy your break, Rep. McLeland.