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Kansas governor’s bad laws making work for attorneys



Published: Thu, May 9, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

The Kansas City Star, Kansas City, Mo.: When Gov. Sam Brownback said he intended to create jobs in Kansas, who knew he was talking about lawyers?

Derek Schmidt, the Republican attorney general, has asked the Legislature to add $1.2 million to his two-year budget to help defend bad laws that Brownback signed this session.

Schmidt estimates the new gun nullification law, which U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has vowed to challenge, will cost $225,000 in legal fees.

He’s figuring on needing $500,000 to defend the big new anti-abortion law. That’s on top of $759,000 already spent to defend other abortion laws signed by Brownback. Schmidt is requesting $250,000 in anticipation of a challenge to an anti-union law banning automatic paycheck deductions. He’s also seeking a quarter of a million dollars to defend a new law requiring drug tests for some Kansans who receive welfare and unemployment compensation.

It’s worth noting that the Legislature didn’t pass these expensive laws in response to a groundswell from constituents. The drug-testing bill was pushed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, which works on behalf of corporations, including drug companies. The paycheck deduction bill was supported by the anti-union Kansas Chamber of Commerce.

Those groups certainly got their money’s worth from the Legislature. Too bad taxpayers are left holding the bill.


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