We definitely are in what has come to be called “March Madness.”

March is here, and with it comes all kinds of transitions. Spring is just around the corner. Baseball is in the air. McPherson has made the annual trip to the state basketball tournament. Congratulations to McPherson on another successful season.

We definitely are in what has come to be called “March Madness.”

As of this writing, our three major universities are battling long and hard to get into the NCAA Tournament. I am a fan who pulls for all our universities to be able to go as far as possible.

The major concern I have recently is keeping KU off of the police reports. The Jayhawks are too fine of a school to allow their reputation to be tarnished as it has been. Basketball players need to be recruited based on their character as well as their ability on the court.

K-State seems to have perennial questions about their coach.

Wichita State regularly strives forward competing in the weaker Missouri Valley Conference.

For the next few weeks, the eyes of Kansas will be watching the tournament in the hopes we will be represented on the national level. All three universities have had their “moments in the sun” in past history.

Who would have thought when a Canadian physical education teacher came to KU that the game of basketball would be invented? Who would have ever believed that nailing a peach basket to the wall would begin the process of formulating the game which many of us follow so intensely? I am quite sure Dr. James Naismith never envisioned what has come to pass.

There is another madness which is facing our state in the months ahead. Once again we are facing a financial shortfall. We must find a way to meet the needs of our state.

These are needs that are both short-term as well as long-term. Kansas is a great state, and there will be no easy solutions.

It is quite evident that our governor’s tax plan has failed miserably. Now I hear he might be going to Italy as a representative of the U.S. Good luck to the 2017 Kansas Legislature.

It is apparent that this body of lawmakers needs bold and visionary leadership. Kansas needs a tax plan which centers around the “three-legged stool.” A plan that is fair and equitable must include property, sales, and income taxes. It is difficult to see any other way to raise the projected revenue to run our state. It will take that if we want to have first-class schools and roads.

Raising the money is one thing; managing it is another. Kansas has had a host of good leaders in the past. They have been willing to work in a bipartisan way. Each stroke of the pen was done for our children and elderly, the most vulnerable in our society. That should not change.

As we face the next few months, there will be a lot of activity in Topeka. Our state will proceed forward with many challenging issues. Kansas will be in the limelight for its basketball. It is our sincere wish it will be in the spotlight for its bold and progressive lawmaking as well. There are good and sincere people in our state who deserve the best that government can offer.

I take encouragement from the great Kansan William Allen White, who said in the midst of state and national turmoil: ”Put fear out of your heart. This nation will survive. This state will prosper. The ordinary business of life will go forward.” Out of the mayhem of these times, Kansas can become a national leader for other states to look up to.

— Dwight Goering lives in Moundridge.