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Editorial Commentary: Ken Ciboski

Ciboski: Kansas Should Create A Unicameral Legislature



The Kansas state legislature and the Governor are at an impasse about revenue and tax policies. More cuts in state spending are being proposed, but I have heard nothing about the money savings that could occur by cutting the number of legislators.  

State legislative membership is too large at 165--125 in the House and 40 in the Senate. I suggest that we cut the membership to 60 overall and create a unicameral or one-house legislative body, which is what our Nebraska neighbor did to save money during the Great Depression. Do not tell me that Nebraska is less democratic than Kansas because it has only one house. This would lead to a more effective system of government, and it would result in considerable savings when you think about pay, mileage, and retirement benefits for legislators. 165 individuals are not needed for the state to fulfill its legislative tasks effectively.  

In a future commentary, I will discuss electoral changes that would provide for a kinder and gentler government and that we consider the possibility of eliminating the position of governor and having a prime minister for Kansas who is elected by the legislature and is responsible to it.