The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 7, 2013

Our View: Bound by our borders

The Joplin Globe

— Legislators from Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri will return to their sessions this week. We wish them well in making decisions that will affect the lives and pocketbooks of the people who live in the states they represent.

We would also ask legislators representing Southwest Missouri, Northeast Oklahoma and Southeast Kansas to extend hands across the borders. Those living in this area are greatly affected by what happens just across the state line. Sometimes we all win, and sometimes we all lose.

As unique and diversified as we want our states to be, we can also conquer problems with unified voices.

Consider the methamphetamine problems seen in this region. Even if one state decides to pass laws that would allow cities to crack down on meth makers, it’s still too easy to pick up and start doing business in the neighboring state. Conversations between legislators and law enforcement personnel in all three states could send a strong message to those who sell and use meth that there’s no longer anyplace to hide.

Environmental concerns don’t stop at state lines. Tough state laws that will work together are needed to stem water and air pollution.

All three states face issues with transportation. Perhaps a meeting of the minds would help remove a few roadblocks.

On the flip side, business development in one corner of the state provides jobs for all of those living nearby. Big industry landing in Miami, Okla., has a positive effect on those living in Seneca, Mo. It’s a case of being able to see the big picture.

Education and health care are also areas where cooperation between states could benefit many.

We would strongly urge our House and Senate members in this region to consider holding the occasional round-table discussion.

Our laws and our politics may differ, but we are neighbors bound together by our borders.