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.

In a 90-minute debate, Laura Kelly and Derek Schmidt weren't just in different worlds. They were in different universes.

Parental rights fight in Kansas schools spawns book bans, scrutiny of LGBTQ students

By: - September 30, 2022

TOPEKA — Lawmakers say remnants of a proposed parents’ bill of rights are impacting school districts, referencing several schools’ transgender student policies and recent attempts to remove books from curriculum. Critics of the parents’ bill of rights say the proposal is unnecessarily restrictive. Under the bill, which Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed in April, each public […]

During Monday's meeting on the Kansas health care system, parent Rick Elskamp urged legislators to provide more aid to struggling families. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from Robert G. Bethell Joint Committee on Home and Community Based Services and KanCare Oversight meeting)

Parents of disabled kids urge Kansas lawmakers to expand aid and fix issues with health care system

By: - September 27, 2022

TOPEKA — A Kansas mother struggling to balance treating her cancer with caring for her disabled children urged lawmakers Monday to provide more support for people like her. Kathy Keck, a mother of five kids, three of whom have developmental and medical disabilities, said she left the workforce more than five years ago to care […]

Rep. Vic Miller and Rep. Mike Amyx unveil their property tax reduction proposal during a Monday news conference (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Democrats float proposal to lower property taxes by reviving dormant fund

By: - September 26, 2022

TOPEKA — A three-part proposal to reduce property taxes could save Kansas homeowners millions, Democratic lawmakers said during a news conference Monday at the Statehouse.  Rep. Vic Miller, D-Topeka, and Rep. Mike Amyx, D-Lawrence, released the plan for consideration in the next legislative session, which begins in January. The plan includes reducing residential property assessment […]

Kasper Schirer at Kansas Court of Appeals

ACLU of Kansas: Legislature needs to fix ‘endless probation’

By: - September 26, 2022

An “endless probation” case is still dragging on in Kansas, with the defendant set to keep paying restitution for the next four decades, if legal reforms don’t address the situation. Edwanda Garrett pleaded guilty in 2009 to making fraudulent content, and again in 2017 for writing bad checks. Garrett’s restitution included deducting $50 from her […]

Gov. Laura Kelly, Lynn Peterson and Phyllis Fitzgerald stand by the Kansas Gold Star Memorial Monument after Friday's unveiling ceremony. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Newly installed Kansas Capitol monument honors families of fallen soldiers

By: - September 23, 2022

TOPEKA — Soldiers, legislators and military families gathered Friday at the Kansas Capitol for an unveiling of a memorial honoring families of soldiers who died while serving in the armed forces. Gov. Laura Kelly and Sen. Pat Roberts spoke at the unveiling ceremony about losses suffered by military families. Kelly, who grew up in a […]

Democratic attorney general candidate Chris Mann, right, conceded the race to Attorney General-elect Kris Kobach, a Republican who narrowly led since election night with uncounted mail and provisional ballots. (Photos by Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas attorney general candidates split on voter fraud, abortion rights, immigration

By: - September 23, 2022

TOPEKA — Republican and Democratic candidates for Kansas attorney general clashed on immigration issues, women’s rights and voting laws during their first debate Thursday, held at the Wichita Crime Commission Forum.  Both candidates said the federal government failed to do enough about immigration. GOP candidate Kris Kobach said he viewed the role of Kansas attorney […]

Close-up of bartender serving beers at bar

Hutchinson microbrewery hopes to avoid losing liquor license with plea to buy food

By: - September 21, 2022

A Hutchinson microbrewery sold more than $16,000 worth of hot dogs and other food Tuesday night in defiance of antiquated Kansas liquor laws. With another $13,000 worth of food sales by the end of the month, the business can stay open. Sandhills Brewing, a microbrewery with two taprooms, is in danger of losing its liquor license […]

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he will cancel thousands of dollars in student debt and pause student loan repayments. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Thousands of Kansans eligible for student debt forgiveness, White House officials say

By: - September 20, 2022

Kansans who have struggled to repay student debt may receive relief, with hundreds of thousands in the state eligible for some form of debt forgiveness, the Biden-Harris administration announced Tuesday.  In Kansas, about 360,900 student loan recipients qualify for some form of loan forgiveness, with 225,500 Kansan Pell Grant recipients eligible. In the neighboring state […]

Kansas uninsured rate now higher than national average

By: - September 19, 2022

Nationally, more and more Americans have been enrolled in health insurance since the Affordable Care Act was implemented. But no longer in Kansas, which now has a higher uninsurance rate than the national average rate for the first time in years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Nearly 264,000 Kansans went without insurance in […]

In the past nine months, hundreds of books across dozens of states are being banned at an alarming rate. A majority of the bans feature books written by authors who are people of color, LGBTQ+, Black and Indigenous, and feature characters from marginalized groups. (Getty Images)

Community divided over Kansas school district book ban push 

By: - September 16, 2022

The Gardner Edgerton School District has made news recently with a transgender student policy that the Kansas American Civil Liberties Union condemned as potentially unlawful. With the policy still under discussion and a vote delayed, it seemed as though things were finally settling down for the district. But the newest issue to come up is […]

Laura Howard, secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families, . (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Child sex abuse reports sent by abortion providers misleading, DCF secretary says

By: - September 15, 2022

Department for Children and Families secretary Laura Howard said “we dropped the ball” in presenting child sexual abuse allegations reported by Kansas abortion providers at a Monday committee meeting.  The data, which run from 2011 to 2022, weren’t available to the public until the Topeka Capital-Journal filed public record requests earlier this year, despite a […]

Sen. Mike Thompson said he was fed up with the state's distribution of federal COVID-19 relief funds during Wednesday's funding review. (Photo by Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas lawmakers dig into pandemic relief spending report

By: - September 14, 2022

TOPEKA — Pastries, plastic tube people and festivals. Kansas lawmakers questioned whether federal COVID-19 relief funding was spent appropriately during a Wednesday review of expenditures. The Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit’s report focused on the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill passed by Congress. The act included $339.8 billion […]