Author

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.

Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services Secretary Laura Howard gave updates on mental health beds to lawmakers during a Friday meeting. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas health care system faces ongoing mental health bed shortages, waiver waitlists

By: - February 3, 2023

TOPEKA — Over six hours Friday, lawmakers discussed ways to improve the KanCare system. Many of the issues sounded familiar, with residents across the state repeating concerns about disability waivers, long waitlists to receive care and workforce shortages.  During a Friday hearing, Kansans asked members of the Robert G. Bethell Joint Committee on Home and […]

Anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in Kansas Legislature are political bullying tactic, activists say

By: - February 2, 2023

TOPEKA — The Kansas GOP is testing the waters with new legislation meant to discredit the LGBTQ community, activists say, with bills seeking to criminalize gender-affirming care and drag show performances for children, and a revised ban on transgender athletes. House Bill 2238, a new form of the “fairness in women’s sports act,” which has […]

Three Kansas Republicans in Congress want the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to extend by 90 days the public comment period on a proposal to list the lesser prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act. (Greg Kramos/USFWS)

Kansas AG announces plan to sue Biden administration over lesser prairie chicken protections

By: - February 1, 2023

TOPEKA —  Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach plans to sue President Joe Biden’s administration over the lesser prairie chicken, calling federal protections for the bird illegal and potentially devastating to landowners and businesses in the state.  In a Tuesday announcement, Kobach said the listing of the bird as a threatened species failed to consider Kansas’ […]

Rep. Pat Proctor, a Fort Leavenworth Republican, said drop box ballot security measures should be taken. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas ballot drop boxes need to be more secure, lawmaker says, comparing issue to 9/11

By: - February 1, 2023

TOPEKA —  Election officials debunked ideas of so-called ballot mules stuffing dozens of votes into drop boxes, reassuring lawmakers Tuesday that the boxes are already secure during a hearing fraught with election security concerns and misinformation.  During a House Elections Committee hearing, House Bill 2057 was opposed by a slew of election officers and voting […]

Gov. Kelly condemns flat tax proposal, touts plan to cut taxes on groceries and other supplies

By: - January 31, 2023

TOPEKA — Following the unveiling of a flat tax proposal that would cost the state $1.5 billion, Gov. Laura Kelly once again rallied Kansans to her tax cut plan, saying any bill passed this legislative session needs to be fiscally responsible.  Kelly joined a Tuesday Zoom meeting hosted by the Kansas Appleseed’s Hunger Action Team […]

During a Tuesday meeting, lawmakers asked about rising restaurant costs and problems within the Kansas restaurant industry. Restaurant owner Kevin Timmons said inflation was impacting his business. (Screen Capture from Kansas Legislature Youtube page)

Kansas restaurant industry still struggling for comeback, officials say

By: - January 30, 2023

TOPEKA —  The restaurant industry statewide has been plagued by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and workforce shortages, with new issues making it difficult for restaurant owners to bounce back, officials have said.  During a Tuesday House Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee hearing, Kevin Timmons, restaurant owner and vice chair of the Kansas Restaurant […]

Adam Proffitt, budget director for Gov. Laura Kelly, presented a new state government budget to House and Senate members Thursday that deposits $500 million in a rainy-day fund, expands Medicaid and ends the state's 4% sales tax on groceries April 1. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Analysis shows Kansas Chamber’s flat tax proposal costs $1.5B, favors top 20% of wage earners

By: , and - January 30, 2023

A flat-rate income tax sought by the Kansas Chamber would reduce state revenue $1.5 billion per year and primarily benefit the state's highest wage earners.

A "vote here" sign is displayed next to a tree outside the Shawnee County Election Office

‘We would all be breaking the law’: Kansas runoff election bill draws criticism

By: - January 27, 2023

TOPEKA — A bill that would implement runoff elections statewide is costly, damaging to voters and potentially illegal, critics say. Under House Bill 2013, if a candidate for a statewide office doesn’t receive a majority of votes in a general election, a runoff election would be held between the two candidates who garnered the most […]

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach encouraged lawmakers to pass legislation blocking foreign entities from buying Kansas agricultural land during a Thursday news conference. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas AG says bill blocking foreigners from buying Kansas land needs to be prioritized

By: - January 26, 2023

TOPEKA — It’s time to keep China out of Kansas agricultural lands, Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach said, announcing his support of legislation intended to prevent Kansas farmers from selling that land to foreign entities.  The bill in question, Senate Bill 100, would prohibit any non-U.S. citizen from buying Kansas real estate in certain areas. […]

Rep. Kristey Williams

‘Holy tax scams’: Kansas lawmakers fight over plan to fund private schools with tax write-offs

By: - January 26, 2023

TOPEKA — Lawmakers and education officials sparred for more than two hours Wednesday over a proposal to expand a private school tax credit originally billed as a way to serve low-income Kansas students. Education officials and Democrats criticized House Bill 2048 during a tense, jampacked House K-12 Education Budget Committee hearing. Critics said the legislation would […]

New legislation would promote the installation of a replica Ad Astra statue, a project that's been in the works for decades. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas lawmakers say it’s time to finally install Ad Astra replica statue on lawn

By: - January 25, 2023

TOPEKA — The Statehouse needs to honor Kansas history through art, legislators said, advocating for a new mural celebrating the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry Regiment and pushing for the placement of a replica Ad Astra statue on the statehouse lawn.  Placing the statue has been the work of many years. The eight-foot replica statue of […]

Kansas Senate president rails against wokeness in response to governor’s annual speech

By: - January 24, 2023

TOPEKA — The Republican president of the Kansas Senate said Tuesday that Kansans should appreciate Gov. Laura Kelly is governing near the ditch on the left side of the road rather than from the center as she has claimed on many occasions. “On many issues, the governor’s party has her walking down the far left […]