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.

Jenna Bellemere, a Lawrence resident, showed up to speak against the proposed legislation. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Bill blocking gender-affirming care for Kansas transgender youths panned by opponents

By: - February 14, 2023

TOPEKA — Nineteen-year-old Jenna Bellemere said gender-affirming care saved her life as a young transgender teen struggling with her identity. But lawmakers are now debating legislation that could end similar care for transgender youths across the state.  Senate Bill 233, legislation that would effectively ban gender-affirming medication and surgery for Kansans under the age of […]

Rep. Kristey Williams

Olathe superintendent, GOP House members tangle over reasons for K-12 teacher vacancies

By: and - February 14, 2023

The Kansas House's K-12 budget committee argued with education spending advocates about the root causes of teacher resignations and retirements.

Rep. Heather Meyer and Rep. Brandon Woodard appear before a House panel

Kansas Democrats describe attempt to ban transgender student athletes as ‘crushing weight’

By: - February 13, 2023

TOPEKA — Heather Meyer teared up Monday as she spoke about her transgender child, who is in middle school and identifies as genderfluid. She testified before a House panel that is considering another attempt to ban transgender athletes from participating in school sports — a ban that would apply to just two public school students […]

Rep. Blake Carpenter spoke in support of a TikTok ban during a Feb. 13, 2023 committee hearing. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas lawmakers: Banning TikTok on state-owned devices necessary for data protection

By: - February 13, 2023

TOPEKA —  Lawmakers called for immediate action banning TikTok from use in state agencies, citing concerns over potential data breaches and Chinese spy craft. House Bill 2314, which was debated and passed out of the House Legislative Modernization Committee on Monday, would prohibit TikTok use on any state-owned devices and state networks. While Gov. Laura […]

Marcus Baltzell

Kansas education advocates see vouchers and hostility as attempts to undermine public schools

By: - February 13, 2023

TOPEKA — Between voucher programs and new parental rights legislation, education officials say public schools are having a rough time. During a recording of the Kansas Reflector podcast, Marcus Baltzell, director of communications for the Kansas National Education Association, and Leah Fliter, Kansas Association of School Boards assistant executive director of advocacy, discussed the state […]

Olympic gymnast Terin Humphrey talks to reporters on the Senate floor

Olympic gymnast shares story of childhood sexual abuse, urges changes in Kansas law

By: - February 10, 2023

TOPEKA — Olympic gymnast and Missouri native Terin Humphrey says it is time to support sexual abuse survivors by passing legislation that would remove the statute of limitations for civil and criminal cases. Humphrey appeared Thursday in the Senate chamber to receive a tribute from lawmakers and champion reform legislation. “I think it’s crazy that […]

House Minority Leader Vic Miller

Kansas House minority leader unveils cannabis amnesty bill

By: - February 9, 2023

TOPEKA — Supported by dozens of his fellow representatives, House Minority Leader Vic Miller introduced a cannabis amnesty bill that would essentially decriminalize marijuana statewide.   House Bill 2363, sponsored by Miller, a Topeka Democrat, along with 34 other representatives, would release anyone convicted for marijuana-related offenses from their sentence, and allow the expungement of marijuana-related […]

Rep. Owen Donohue

No more ‘gender unicorns’: Lawmakers debate new parents’ bill of rights legislation

By: - February 9, 2023

TOPEKA — Lawmakers on Wednesday debated a new form of parental rights legislation that would allow parents to withdraw their children from courses they find objectionable, saying some teachers are crossing the line into grooming and advocating radical ideas. House Bill 2236 was discussed by the House Education Committee. The bill would allow parents to […]

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)

Resolution condemning lesser prairie chicken protection clears Kansas House

By: - February 8, 2023

TOPEKA — The lesser prairie chicken is back on a symbolic chopping block. During a Wednesday House session, lawmakers passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 1602, formally disapproving the federal government’s listing of the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species in Kansas and announcing support for efforts to remove the designation. Rep. Ken Rahjes, a Republican […]

The dome of the Kansas Statehouse soars above those working in the building. (Clay Wirestone/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas House passes legislation to clarify language in juvenile justice system

By: - February 8, 2023

TOPEKA — Lawmakers approved legislation Wednesday to help shape juvenile justice reform. The House voted 123-0 to pass House Bill 2033, which would change the criteria for admitting young offenders to juvenile crisis intervention centers and better define standards for behavioral health crises. The legislation is meant to address gaps within the juvenile justice system, […]

Rep. Heather Meyer appears at a committee hearing

New Kansas bill would set cap on insulin prices, restrict costs for diabetes equipment

By: - February 7, 2023

TOPEKA — Rep. Heather Meyer is familiar with the battle between lifesaving medication and crippling medical debt. Meyer, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12, grew up with a single father who also had type 1 diabetes. With finances tight and health insurance unaffordable, the two had to ration bottles […]

Rep. Kristey Williams

Kansas lawmakers unveil bill to incentivize private education with public funds

By: - February 7, 2023

TOPEKA — A new education bill would funnel money into unregulated, unaccredited private schools, with lawmakers saying the legislation would protect parental authority. The bill was promoted by lawmakers on the committee as a way for more Kansas students to access higher-quality education, but opponents say the bill is just the latest in a series […]