Briefs

Biden administration boosts pay for federal firefighters

BY: - August 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — As wildfires rage in the western United States, the Biden administration on Tuesday announced it is hiking pay for federal wildland firefighters to at least $15 per hour. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the change will boost pay for 3,500 firefighters with the Interior Department and […]

Former Kansas House member to lead policy initiatives for American Atheists

BY: - August 16, 2021

TOPEKA — Former state Rep. Brett Parker has been hired to serve as national policy manager of the religious equality organization American Atheists. “When you’re an atheist lawmaker in a conservative state, the only way to get things done is to build coalitions and find common ground with people who are different from you,” said […]

The University of Kansas is joining with other public universities in Kansas to offer incentives to increase voluntary vaccination for COVID-19 as fall classes start in August. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas universities offering incentives to boost COVID-19 vaccinations

BY: - August 13, 2021

LAWRENCE — Fully vaccinated students on the Lawrence and Overland Park campuses of the University of Kansas will be eligible for drawings of the cash equivalent of a semester’s in-state undergraduate tuition, cash prizes of $5,000, special parking permits as well as football and basketball tickets. KU officials said Friday the program to encourage voluntary […]

U.S. Sens. Roger Marshall and Jerry Moran voted for a COVID-19 testing mandate for immigrants and against a $3.5 trillion budget resolution expanding the national safety net. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Marshall, Moran support bipartisan measure for COVID-19 testing of immigrants at border

BY: - August 11, 2021

U.S. Sens. Moran and Marshall support COVID-19 testing of immigrants at border, oppose $3.5 trillion budget resolution expanding national safety net.

Biden extends freeze on student loan payments to Jan. 31

BY: - August 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced Friday afternoon it is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments until January of next year, as the delta variant of the coronavirus surges across the country.  “As our nation’s economy continues to recover from a deep hole, this final extension will give students and borrowers the time […]

Kansas attorney general will enforce voting law where district attorney refuses

BY: - August 2, 2021

TOPEKA — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt on Monday fired a warning shot ahead of Tuesday’s primary elections by making it clear his office could prosecute voting crimes anywhere in the state. Schmidt referenced last week’s announcement by Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez, who said she would not prosecute violations of a new voting […]

Biden urges state and local leaders to postpone evictions while rental aid is distributed

BY: - August 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday called on state and local governments to put their own pause on federal evictions for at least two months, and urged them to use $46.5 billion provided by the coronavirus relief package for tenants and landlords. But the White House said that the Centers for Disease Control and […]

procedural measure tied to a $1 trillion infrastructure bill negotiated by a bipartisan group. The measure was approved 66-28, allowing for work to proceed on the package. (Screen capture/Kansas Reflector)

GOP senators from Kansas take alternate routes on infrastructure bill

BY: - July 31, 2021

U.S. Sen. Moran votes against procedural motion on $1 trillion infrastructure bill, while U.S. Sen. Marshall declines to cast a vote.

Black Hills monthly bills could go up $14.50 under requests filed with Kansas regulators

BY: - July 28, 2021

Black Hills Energy customers could have to pay another $14.50 per month under two separate rate hikes the company has proposed to Kansas regulators. The natural gas utility, which serves more than 117,000 Kansas customers in 50 counties, filed in May with the Kansas Corporation Commission for a $10.2 million increase to customers’ base rates […]

The Kansas Corporation Commission agreed Tuesday to allow the state attorney general to interview in investigation of natural gas price spikes last winter. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Attorney general’s office to join KCC inquiry of natural gas price spike

BY: - July 27, 2021

KCC grants state attorney general permission to intervene on behalf of consumers in the investigation of February natural gas price spikes.

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)

Trio of Kansas GOP lawmakers seek more time to critique prairie chicken listing

BY: - July 21, 2021

Kansas congressional members seek more time to rebut federal proposal to list lesser prairie-chicken under endangered species act.

Report: Residents in Kansas, Missouri get drinking water from lead pipes at high rates

BY: - July 15, 2021

People in Missouri and Kansas risk lead exposure from drinking water at greater rates than almost any other state, a new report found.  The Natural Resources Defense Council released findings Thursday that as many as 12 million Americans may be receiving drinking water through lead pipes without realizing their water is contaminated.  “There is no […]