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 lawmakers fail to override veto of ‘junk’ insurance expansion, urge end to unemployment boost

By: and - May 26, 2021

TOPEKA — Republicans in the Senate and House punctuated the close of the 2021 legislative session Wednesday by asking Gov. Laura Kelly to cut off federal support for out-of-work Kansans and failing to override the governor’s veto of a short-term insurance bill. Lawmakers returned to the Statehouse for a largely ceremonial one-day close to the […]

The bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Laura Kelly fully funds public education at a rate of $5.2 billion annually. She also extended a 20-mill property tax levy crucial to funding public schools. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas education funding hike, school choice eligibility expansion signed into law

By: - May 24, 2021

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday commended a new bipartisan education law increasing education spending that fully funds Kansas education for the third year in a row while also expanding eligibility for private school scholarships. House Bill 2134, the product of negotiations between House and Senate lawmakers and the governor’s office, funds the state’s […]

Kansas equity panel turns attention to racial disparities in childcare, early childhood education

By: - May 22, 2021

TOPEKA — A panel focused on promoting racial equity in Kansas has homed in on child care and early childhood education as keys to addressing economic and social disparities among marginalized communities in the state. The Governor’s Commission on Racial Equity and Justice chose to focus work done by its three subcommittees on addressing the […]

Governor makes takeout alcohol sales permanent for Kansas bars, restaurants

By: - May 21, 2021

TOPEKA — A new law making the sale of to-go and drive-thru alcohol permanent in Kansas has a Topeka tap house management excited for new possibilities and increased revenue streams. When the pandemic forced Brew Bank to shut its doors to indoor dining, a temporary allowance of to-go alcohol sales helped offset lost revenue. House […]

New law helps drivers with suspended licenses get back on the road

By: - May 14, 2021

TOPEKA — A new law now in effect gives Kansans with suspended driver’s licenses a clearer avenue to get back on the road. Under the law, Kansans who are struggling to pay fines and fees can ask a Judge to reduce or waive the charges based on hardships. The law also removes a 90-day suspension or […]

Kansas governor denounces effort to tie college athlete pay to transgender athlete ban

By: - May 13, 2021

TOPEKA — An effort to pass a bill allowing collegiate student-athletes to receive compensation for their name and likeness in exchange for pushing through a ban on transgender athletes in school sports drew scorn Thursday from Gov. Laura Kelly. The controversial Senate Bill 55 would have required participation in K-12 and college sports to correspond […]

Racial disparities in infant mortalities persist despite record low rates in Kansas

By: - May 13, 2021

TOPEKA — Driven by personal loss, Sapphire Garcia-Lies is working to bring awareness to racial disparities in infant mortalities and equity to perinatal health in Kansas. Garcia-Lies’ daughter died in utero one week before her due date, from what Garcia-Lies described as medical negligence. She said concerns about her daughter not moving much toward the […]

Short-term health insurance expansion passed by Kansas Legislature raises bipartisan concerns

By: - May 11, 2021

TOPEKA — A bill passed by the Kansas Legislature last week will expand the usage period on short-term health insurance plans if approved by Gov. Laura Kelly. “Short-term limited duration” insurance policies are aimed at providing stopgap coverage for individuals in between jobs or who have other short-term health needs. Unlike many normal health insurance […]

Kansas lawmakers make sexual extortion a crime, raise penalties for eluding police

By: - May 10, 2021

TOPEKA — A criminal justice bill passed by the House and Senate makes sexual extortion a crime, enforces stronger penalties for attempting to elude a police officer and allows a spouse to be charged with sexual battery. Senate Bill 60 passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, although some lawmakers took issue with a provision that amends […]

Kansas Legislature wraps 2021 session with late-night property tax deal

By: - May 8, 2021

TOPEKA — After months filled with long days of prickly debate, Senate President Ty Masterson brought the legislative session to a close late Friday night by thanking his colleagues for working diligently and patiently through a jam-packed schedule of bills. In the final day, the House and Senate came together to tie up loose ends […]

Senate rejects windfall for Kansas health club kingpin in property tax bill

By: - May 7, 2021

TOPEKA — The Kansas Senate late Friday rejected an agreement between committees from both chambers on a property tax bill after including a highly scrutinized property tax exemption for health and fitness clubs. House Bill 2313 includes provisions to provide financial relief for smaller retailers hurt by temporary shutdown orders during the pandemic, and expands […]

Rep. Jim Gartner, D-Topeka, warned House colleagues an unearned "double-dip" income tax deduction in Senate Bill 50 could cost the state treasury $300 million to $400 million if not removed. The House rejected his amendment and a new estimate placed cost of the deduction at $360 million. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Senate-backed property tax bundle runs into wall in Kansas House over last-minute amendments

By: - May 7, 2021

TOPEKA — A Kansas property tax bill amended with bipartisan support in the Senate ran into trouble Thursday in the House, with one lawmaker saying that passing it without further review would be akin to boarding the Titanic. House Bill 2313 began as a measure that expanded a law exempted Kansans in the military from […]