Choosing outdated laws to repeal

After taking office last year, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback created the Office of the Repealer. It’s within the Kansas Department of Administration. And today, Jan. 20, under the watchful eye of Administration secretary Dennis Taylor, the governor proudly released a list of 51 regulations, laws and executive orders the Repealer Czar is recommending for repeal.

Pardon me while I sit back, rub my eyes and scratch my forehead.

It’s not that I don’t agree stupid and outdated laws should be retired. My concern is the cost effectiveness of creating this Repealer office. How much is it costing Kansas taxpayers to have someone research the books to find these ridiculous laws. And in 150 years of Kansas’ statehood, the Repealer Czar only could come up with 51 laws targeted to be repealed?

An effort like this, I think, would be an excellent college project, especially for some wannabe lawyers and Political Science majors at Washburn University in Topeka. It could be a great project for a team of students or for someone seeking their masters or doctorate.What’s been called the hit list of outdated and outlandish laws Brownback said focuses on several areas such as property appraisal, county office administration, agriculture, corrections, state agency organization and how state officials should conduct themselves during labor disputes.

During the unveiling, Brownback called these laws burdensome, out-of-date and unreasonable, and said state laws and regulations shouldn’t hinder opportunities for Kansans and Kansas businesses.

We agree, but we’re not sure how, out of the more than 500 suggestions Taylor said his office received, that a mere 51 were chosen. He said its “likely” more outdated laws to be recommended for repeal. But it’s still not clear how the Repealer Czar narrowed the 500 to his 51 recommendations.

Nor is it clear how some of these decisions are going to make life easier and better for Kansans and Kansas businesses.

For example, there is a law on the Kansas books that says a sheriff who allows a person in his custody to be lynched may be reinstated as sheriff. The Repealer Czar and Brownback both want that law repealed. And although I agree, I don’t see how the repealing of that law will make my life better.

And then there’s this law that prohibits people of the same sex from engaging in intercourse. The Kansas Equality Coalition requested to the Repealer Czar this law be repealed.
But for some reason, this law didn’t make the Repealer Czar’s list.
I don’t understand this lifestyle, I don’t endorse this lifestyle, the parts don’t fit, so-to-speak, but even the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that state laws banning this type of sex was unconstitutional and unenforceable. And while repealing this law is not going to affect my life in Kansas, it would others turning good and hard-working-and-taxpaying Kansans into instant criminals depending on their sexual preferences.
The Repealer Czar told The Topeka Capital-Journal he didn’t want to wade into reasons the sodomy law and other reform ideas were left on the cutting room floor.
So I guess when Brownback says he wants to make life better for all Kansans, I guess he means that the only laws and regulations going to be repealed will be those that benefit the ultra-conservatives.
Excuse me while I scratch my head again.

2 Responses

  1. He’s such an idiot. When do you vote for a new governor?

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