Brownback's 'vision'

On Nov. 12, Gov. Sam Brownback announced his "Long-Term Vision for the Future of Water Supply in Kansas." While I believe the "vision" is too narrow, it is the only document available for guiding the development and implementation of future water policies for resolving water issues in Kansas.

On Dec. 10, the governor announced his plans for filling an estimated $280 million hole in the general fund budget for the fiscal year that ends June 30. An estimated $436 million hole exists for the next fiscal year. Additional holes exist in future fiscal years. Two bond-rating services have cut Kansas' bond rating.

The governor's "vision" and my research and testimonies show the criticality, complexity and difficulty of Kansas water issues and policies for resolving them. I believe water issues are the most important public policy issues in Kansas.

Budget holes and lowered bond ratings threaten achievement of the "vision." It calls for establishment of a Blue-Ribbon Task Force to develop a method to finance achievement of the "vision." Ultimately, the Legislature will have to appropriate monies and strengthen laws for water. Without these measures, the "vision" becomes an illusion. That should not happen to Kansans.

Allyn O. Lockner,