As Thomas Frank describes in his book "What's The Matter With Kansas," what happens in the bull's-eye state is important for the entire nation. We're not only smack in the middle of the continental United States (bull's-eye!), we're also a bit of a political barometer, charting the change in air pressure before political storms arrive on the national scene.
Monday marks the start of the Kansas legislative session, and what an exciting one it will be. It's an election year. The governor, a Democrat, is facing the overwhelmingly Republican House and Senate. The majority Republicans are facing an internal, and probably, bloody struggle. Schools may or may not be funded to adequate levels. Our school children may or may not be the targets of religious brainwashing. Our judges may or may not retain their independence. The dreaded TABOR may or may not pass and take money away from services people need. And last, but certainly not least, thousands of law-abiding lesbian and gay Kansans may once again find themselves in the cross-hairs of the Religious Right.
All of that is why I'll soon be instituting a new feature called "YourFuture" that will examine events in the Kansas Statehouse. If you live in Kansas, my advice is to pay attention and to keep your representative and senator's phone numbers close at hand. The amount of money you have to spend, whether or not your children have decent schools and even your personal liberty are at stake.
No matter where you live, though, what you see here may well have a strong impact on your future. Stay tuned.