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.

Sen. Molly Baumgardner, a Louisburg Republican, says the revised legislation would bolster public education in the state

Kansas lawmakers plan to use COVID-19 funds to expand voucher program to public school students

By: - April 4, 2023

TOPEKA — A new form of the long-debated Kansas voucher program for private schools would fund the program with federal COVID-19 dollars and provide $1,000 for public school students. Sen. Molly Baumgardner, a Louisburg Republican, said the revised legislation was meant to shore up public education and help families fund educational needs for their children. […]

Kansas House approves childhood sexual abuse law reform, expands timeframe for lawsuits

By: - April 3, 2023

TOPEKA — In little more than a week, the Kansas Legislature considered and overwhelmingly approved a landmark reform to childhood sex abuse law, voting unanimously to expand the timeframe in which survivors can file lawsuits and prosecute abusers.  Rep. Bob Lewis, a Garden City Republican, said the changes would send a message of support to […]

Under new law, aspiring embalmers can experience field earlier

By: - April 3, 2023

TOPEKA — A new law allows potential embalmers to work with corpses in an attempt to understand the field. The legislation, signed into law by Gov. Laura Kelly on March 31, gives aspiring embalmers the chance to complete a six-month apprenticeship in the year before they attend mortuary science school. The change was proposed by […]

As Kansans celebrate equality, House lawmakers vote against transgender women’s rights

By: and - March 31, 2023

TOPEKA — Kansans gathered at the Statehouse this week to celebrate equality while GOP legislators executed their latest attack on transgender people. House Republicans who endorsed an attempt to legislate the meaning of “man” and “woman” describe their legislation as a science-based attempt to keep women safely isolated from their dominant counterparts. The ironically titled […]

Kansas Republican asserts ‘God-given’ gun rights during debate on concealed carry fees

By: - March 30, 2023

TOPEKA — Paying for a license to carry a concealed firearm violates “God-given rights,” a House Republican argued during a tense discussion on gun law ethics this week. A day after a deadly mass shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, Rep. Rebecca Schmoe, an Ottawa Republican, advocated for a bill reducing concealed carry licensing fees out of […]

Kansas House passes bills dealing with flat tax, abortion, wind turbines, energy, fentanyl

By: - March 29, 2023

TOPEKA —  House lawmakers passed a flat tax proposal with bipartisan support, following weeks of debate on the topic and criticism that the policy would mostly benefit corporations and the state’s wealthiest residents.  The Republican-engineered tax proposal would get rid of Kansas’ tiered tax system and implement a 5.25% income tax rate for all individuals […]

Rep. Stephanie Sawyer-Clayton compared a tax proposal to a "nice guy" during a March 28, 2023 House floor hearing. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas House advances ‘nice guy’ flat tax proposal to change income, property tax rates

By: - March 28, 2023

TOPEKA — Kansas could have a perfect romance with a wide-ranging tax proposal, Rep. Stephanie Sawyer-Clayton said, comparing her tax bill amendment to dating a dreamboat of a man.  “Right now, this bill is like a really nice guy,” Sawyer-Clayton, an Overland Park Democrat, said. “It’s really nice, but it’s not our dream date.”  Her […]

Rep. Lisa Moser said wind turbine lighting system disrupted the beauty of Kansas' rural landscape. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas House roundup: Wind turbine lights, feminine fight, ballot deadline, Biden energy policy

By: and - March 28, 2023

TOPEKA — Wind turbine lights are a dangerous nuisance, Kansas House lawmakers said during a lively discussion Tuesday of wind farm lighting statewide. The wind turbine bill was among nearly two dozen pieces of legislation the House planned to consider during a jam-packed debate as lawmakers attempt to make progress ahead of next week’s end-of-session […]

Rep. Kristey Williams discusses proposed legislation changes during a March 27, 2023 conference meeting. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas lawmakers strike several provisions from controversial private school funding program

By: - March 27, 2023

TOPEKA — In the first of what is likely to be a series of bill negotiations over the next few days, a Kansas senator proposed cutting provisions on teacher salaries and district funding from a controversial, voucher-like K-12 education proposal.  Members of House and Senate education committees met Monday to hammer out a version of […]

Rep. Susan Concannon, chair of the House Child Welfare and Foster Care Committee, opens the hearing on foster care caseloads during a Feb. 20 hearing. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas House passes proposal for independent child advocate to oversee foster care system

By: - March 27, 2023

TOPEKA — Following a years-long power clash over who should be in charge of foster care oversight, House lawmakers on Monday passed a bill creating an independent office in state law. House Bill 2443 would establish the Office of the Child Advocate as an independent state agency with a nonpartisan oversight board. The child advocate […]

Kansas activists discuss abortion rights, Legislature’s response to amendment vote

By: - March 27, 2023

TOPEKA — The Legislature may not respect the public’s stance on abortion, but reproductive rights advocates find hope in knowing the record turnout Aug. 2 to defeat the constitutional amendment on abortion was fueled by young voters who are likely to keep voting.  During a recording for the Kansas Reflector podcast, Chloe Chaffin, program lead […]

Kansas ADA violation claims put under new scrutiny in bill called ‘nuclear warhead’

By: - March 24, 2023

TOPEKA — Kansans filing claims against businesses for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act could have to pay the businesses’ attorney fees even if the company is found to be in the wrong, in what one disability rights advocate called a “nuclear warhead” of a bill. Rocky Nichols, executive director of the Disability Rights […]