Rachel Mipro

Rachel Mipro

A graduate of Louisiana State University, Rachel Mipro has covered state government in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. She and her fellow team of journalists were 2022 Goldsmith Prize Semi-Finalists for their work featuring the rise of the KKK in northern Louisiana, following racially-motivated shootings in 1960. With her move to the Midwest, Rachel is now turning her focus toward issues within Kansas public policies.

Church and state: Devotion infuses Kansas Legislature, with spiritual adviser and daily prayers

By: - May 20, 2023

TOPEKA — Dave DePue, a pastor and director of the Kansas Capitol Commission, smiled in the background as Rep. Emil Bergquist’s voice bounced around the Statehouse rotunda during his baritone rendition of “The Lord’s Prayer.” Bergquist, along with state Treasurer Steven Johnson and Wellington Republican Rep. Bill Rhiley, led prayers during the May 4 prayer […]

Halsey Yankey stands in front of Justin Spiehs at a gender marker clinic held at the Lawrence Public Library May 17,2023, blocking his transphobic sign from view. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Before ban goes into effect, lawyer urges trans Kansans to change gender markers

By: - May 19, 2023

LAWRENCE — A small group of protesters rattled the door of the library auditorium, trying to get in as an LGBTQ rights lawyer informed transgender Kansans what protections and resources they need to lock down before a wide-ranging transgender bathroom ban goes into effect in July. “We’re trying to do triage care as lawyers right […]

Kansas governor signs K-12 education bill, strikes portion slicing state aid to rural schools

By: and - May 18, 2023

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly struck down a K-12 budget bill provision that would have decreased funding to more than one-third of Kansas public schools, calling the provision potentially “devastating” for rural communities.  “This provision pulls the rug out from underneath rural school districts at the 11th hour. If this provision were enacted, it would […]

Kansas state officials announce grants for mental health hospital beds

By: - May 17, 2023

TOPEKA – Millions of dollars in grant money has been set aside to boster the state’s mental health services as officials respond to a shortage of resources for those struggling with mental illness.  The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services distributed $65.4 million from the state’s federal COVID-19 recovery funds to strengthen behavioral health […]

Republican governor candidate Derek Schmidt blamed Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly for academic and mental health challenges of K-12 students and for a shortage of teachers in Kansas classrooms. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Church and state: Kansas Republicans justify private school handouts with fear of ‘woke ideology’

By: - May 17, 2023

TOPEKA — Adam Peters, GOP chairman in Ellis County, draws a parallel between the average Kansas fourth-grader and Janissaries of the 16th century Ottoman feudal system. The Ottoman empire ripped Christian children from their parents, raised the children as Muslims and turned them into elite warriors, sometimes sending them back to fight their own families. […]

Tabatha Rosproy, who works in early education, said the new task force would help with the future of early childhood services in the state. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas early childhood task force looks to other states for guidance

By: - May 16, 2023

TOPEKA —  Tabatha Rosproy grew up in a rural Kansas community, with parents who struggled with having children at an early age and a sister who had behavioral problems. As she grew up, she watched her sister receive punishment both at school and home for conduct issues. “There just weren’t a lot of chances to […]

‘Political punishment’: Kansas governor ditches last-minute funding for historic site

By: - May 15, 2023

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly struck out several provisions from a wide-ranging budget bill, drawing fire from Legislature Republicans who said her rejection of funding for a historic site reeked of “political punishment.”  Kelly announced the signing of Senate Bill 25 Monday. The 36-page budget bill passed both chambers with bipartisan support, garnering a 91-29 […]

A sign outside a business says "now hiring"

New report estimates rise in Kansas employment, GDP over coming months

By: - May 15, 2023

TOPEKA — The unemployment rate in Kansas is expected to decrease in 2024, with the state poised to add thousands of new jobs, according to new employment predictions. Wichita State University’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research released an updated Kansas Employment Forecast in May. Since 2020, employment rates have been on the rise. […]

Kansas governor vetoes bill on child COVID-19 vaccines, authority of health officials

By: - May 12, 2023

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly shot down an anti-vaccination bill that would have blocked child COVID-19 vaccination requirements and stripped authority from public health officials, a move greeted with outrage from Republican leaders in the Legislature. House Bill 2285, sent to Kelly’s desk in the last days of the legislative session, narrowly passed the House […]

Kansas governor signs juvenile justice measure, medical student assistance bills

By: - May 12, 2023

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly signed into law a juvenile justice reform measure and a bill that provides funding for medical school students — as long as these students don’t perform abortions.  Kelly announced the signing of House Bill 2060 Friday. The bipartisan legislation, passed 32-3 in the Senate and 83-39 in the House, expands […]

New law provides tax exemptions for suicide prevention and senior services organizations

By: - May 10, 2023

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly approved tax breaks for suicide prevention and senior assistance organizations, legislation meant to bolster resources for vulnerable people across the state.  Kelly announced the signing of bipartisan House Bill 2002 Wednesday. The bill, which passed the Senate 37-0 and the House 122-0, creates sales tax exemptions for the Kansas Suicide […]

Kelly signs bill to bolster health care workforce, reduce sports medicine barriers for visiting athletes

By: - May 9, 2023

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly has signed legislation meant to help patch up the state’s health care workforce shortages and provide more care options for out-of-town athletes. Kelly announced the signing of Senate Bill 131 Tuesday, a bipartisan bill that passed the House 118-4 and the Senate 38-2. The bill smooths over the licensing process […]