Author

Noah Taborda

Noah Taborda

Noah Taborda started his journalism career in public radio at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri, covering local government and producing an episode of the podcast Show Me The State while earning his bachelor’s degree in radio broadcasting at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Noah then made a short move to Kansas City, Missouri, to work at KCUR as an intern on the talk show Central Standard and then in the newsroom, reporting on daily news and feature stories.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican candidate for governor, issued a nonbinding legal opinion saying the Legislature had authority to delay preparations to rebid the $4 billion contracts with KanCare providers until 2024 rather than 2023.. (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas A.G., Republican lawmakers propose ‘legislative veto’ of state agency rules

By: - February 23, 2021

TOPEKA — Kansas’ chief legal officer and Republican leaders in the Legislature introduced Tuesday a constitutional amendment allowing an avenue for legislators to block rules or regulations created by executive agencies. The so-called “legislative veto” would authorize the Legislature to repeal any regulation stemming from the governor’s agencies, the secretary of state’s office or the […]

Bill in Kansas House would give offenders a way out of public registries for sex, drugs, violence

By: - February 23, 2021

TOPEKA — Kansas legislators are again considering a bill offering dramatic changes to the rules around the state’s expansive public offender registry. The Kansas Offenders Registration Act was implemented in 1993 to monitor convicted sex offenders after serving their sentence. In the years since its passage, the registry has expanded to cover those convicted of […]

Kansas legislators consider raising minimum age for tobacco to 21

By: - February 22, 2021

TOPEKA — A Kansas bill heard Monday seeks to bring the state in line with federal regulations regarding minimum age for cigarettes and tobacco use. In late 2019, the federal “Tobacco 21” bill was signed into law, raising the federal minimum age for the sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years. The Kansas […]

Lawrence activists not happy with D.A.’s inaction after campaigning on murder case

By: - February 21, 2021

TOPEKA — The new Douglas County district attorney is under fire by local activists who say she campaigned on the pain of a man who spent five years in jail awaiting trial for a murder he did not commit. Rontarus Washington Jr., 24, has been in custody since January 2015. He is charged with first-degree […]

Amid ‘wild west’ of college recruiting, a Kansas bill could allow college athlete pay for name, image and likeness

By: - February 19, 2021

TOPEKA — Representatives of several Kansas universities support a bill allowing collegiate student-athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness as soon as 2022. Kansas is one of about 35 states considering similar legislation to a bill passed in several states in recent years, including California and Florida. NIL rights are part of an […]

Wichita residents, legislators resume fight for oversight of ‘ugly’ Kansas utility mega-poles

By: - February 18, 2021

TOPEKA — A three-mile stretch of 105-foot-tall utility poles in Wichita has galvanized residents and lawmakers to make a renewed push for increased regulatory oversight of transmission line decisions in urban areas. A 2018 project by Westar Energy, now Evergy, installed dozens of massive metal transmission line poles in a low-income neighborhood of northeast Wichita. […]

Concerned Kansans say student data privacy provisions infringe on parental rights

By: - February 17, 2021

TOPEKA — The Kansas House Education Committee has recommended a bill for the second straight year amending the state’s student data privacy provisions relating to the administration of certain surveys and tests. State law currently prohibits the administration of surveys, tests or questionnaires that contain questions regarding issues like sex, family or religion unless the […]

Kansas legislators take second crack at bill banning psychological evaluations for crime victims

By: - February 17, 2021

TOPEKA — Sexual assault and crime victim advocates are pushing Kansas lawmakers to strike an “archaic” and “misogynistic” law allowing the ordering of psychiatric exams for victims of all crimes. The rule in Kansas allowing the psychiatric or psychological examination of a witness stems from a 1979 Kansas Supreme Court case that relied on “outdated […]

‘Outside the box’ criminal justice bill seeks release of some nonviolent Kansas drug offenders

By: - February 16, 2021

TOPEKA — A bill recommended by the Kansas Sentencing Commission would offer an avenue for certain nonviolent drug offenders to seek release from prison, which supporters say is another needed step in the process of reducing prison overcrowding. The measure would allow inmates who have successfully served 50% of a sentence for a severity level […]

Rep. Ron Highland

Proposed KPERS bill altering school district employee contributions raises legal red flags

By: - February 15, 2021

TOPEKA — The high likelihood of litigation against the state and added confusion for school employees were among concerns voiced Monday by opponents of a bill increasing contributions made by school district employees to the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System. KPERS school district workers currently pay 6% into the retirement fund. Under the proposed bill […]

Kansas legislators weigh bills to extend, revamp rural workforce recruitment tool

By: - February 15, 2021

TOPEKA — Kansas legislators are considering separate efforts to extend and revamp a rural development tool that has not reversed population decline as intended. The Rural Opportunity Zones program is currently offered to 77 counties in rural areas suffering from years or sometimes decades of population decline. Designated counties can offer income tax credits and […]

House committee considers ways to limit Kansas governor’s authority in elections, vacant offices

By: - February 14, 2021

TOPEKA — A Kansas bill advanced favorably by the House committee overseeing elections aims to limit the authority of the governor to alter election laws or procedures. The bill would prohibit the governor from altering state election laws through an executive order. It also would prohibit the executive branch and judicial branch from altering election […]