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Criminal matters would be delayed, and jail crowding would worsen as defendants spend more time waiting for trials and hearings, at a cost to counties.

Other problems could come in extended delays for small claims and some civil cases as more pressing criminal and child welfare cases rightly receive priority.

While all public entities have an obligation to streamline their operations and utilize taxpayer dollars in a prudent way, the breaking point comes when insufficient resources curb or eliminate the ability of vital programs to work.

It’s even worse knowing the governor and his allies pushed through massive tax breaks for the wealthy that will limit state resources moving forward.

That mess will go well beyond the court system, of course. We can expect more of the same troubling fallout as state revenues evaporate and become insufficient to maintain various essential services.

Seeing state workers face the prospect of being furloughed shouldn’t sit well with any Kansan, as many stand to be affected.

All deserve better than the trouble generated by an atrocious tax plan.


The Wichita Eagle, April 18

Kansas African American Museum took brave step:

The Kansas African American Museum made a difficult but wise decision to walk away from land on which it had hoped to construct a new building. By focusing on creating a sound financial footing, the museum should have a stronger and more secure future.

KAAM sent a letter to the city of Wichita recently saying that it was terminating its lease agreement on 1.2 acres of land along the Arkansas River downtown. The city leased the property to the museum for $1 a year in 2005 with the expectation it would raise funds for the construction of a new building.

The down economy and personnel changes at the museum hurt its ability to raise money. So after much discussion, the museum's board of directors decided that it was best to return the land and regroup.

“We’re dealing with reality,” board chairwoman Lee Williams told The Eagle editorial board.

The museum plans to spend the next three to five years stabilizing its finances. It already has some good momentum: The museum turned a profit last year and was able to pay off its debts.

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