Politics + Government

A piece of farming equipment in a field of crops

Billions in federal farm payments flow to a select group of producers, report shows

BY: - February 4, 2023

WASHINGTON — The top 10% of recipients of federal farm payments raked in more than 79% of total subsidies over the last 25 years — producing billions of dollars for a relatively small group of U.S. producers, according to a new analysis of federal data from an environmental group. In total, the federal government paid […]

A sign on a wall signals the way to a free vaccination clinic

States criticized for spending federal relief funds on tax cuts, prisons

BY: - February 4, 2023

As states plan how they’ll spend the $25 billion remaining in federal COVID-19 relief funds, some also are facing criticism and renewed scrutiny over how they allocated money already received from the American Rescue Plan Act. Of the $198 billion authorized by Congress in 2021, $173 billion already has been appropriated by states, the District […]

OPINION

Statehouse scraps: Secrecy shrouds semiconductor deal, counting a community, silver screen plans

BY: - February 4, 2023

Somehow we just wrapped the fourth week of the 2023 Kansas legislative session. Tracking lawmakers’ antics sometimes feels like pounding a half-dozen slushies and taking a ride on a tilt-a-whirl. The individual experiences might be fun, exhilarating even, but you need a cast-iron stomach to prevent the worst. Like previous weeks, this one saw exceptionally […]

U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, a Kansas Republican, said presence over Kansas of a Chinese spy balloon was evidence of President Joe Biden's shortcomings in the national security realm. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from U.S. Senate YouTube channel)

Marshall, Moran point to China spy balloon as proof of national security lapses

BY: - February 3, 2023

Sen. Roger Marshall, Rep. Jake LaTurner of Kansas say drift of Chinese spy balloon over Kansas shows President Biden's national security shortcomings.

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 the hearing, Kansans asked members of the Robert G. Bethell Joint Committee on Home and Community […]

Sen. Mike Thompson, R-Shawnee, proposes passage of a bill requiring local government officials follow a standard of confict-of-interest disclosure related to wind and solar project developments not required of state legislators. (Jill Hummels for the Kansas Reflector)

Senate bill sets local government conflict-of-interest standard for Kansas solar, wind projects

BY: - February 3, 2023

Kansas Senate bill creates confict-of-interest laws for local government officials on solar and wind projects that don't exist for state legislators.

A weather balloon in the sky

Chinese surveillance balloon now drifting across the middle of the U.S., Pentagon confirms

BY: - February 3, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will postpone his planned trip to Beijing after the U.S. detected a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon hovering over Montana. A senior State Department official said Friday that despite the Chinese government claiming the balloon had entered U.S. airspace accidentally, its presence was a “clear violation of sovereignty.” […]

OPINION

I helped balance the budget in the ’90s. Here’s how hard it will be for Republicans.

BY: - February 3, 2023

Kevin McCarthy reportedly promised many things to Republican hardliners en route to clinching his job as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. One of them was a “balanced budget” in 10 years. As part of that plan, Republicans are demanding substantial spending cuts and budget reforms in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling this year — putting the U.S. at […]

A view of medical marijuana products

State medical cannabis programs failing to make enough progress, advocacy group finds

BY: - February 2, 2023

WASHINGTON — A report from a patient advocacy group found the future of medical cannabis in the states is hazy unless costs are decreased, product safety standards are improved, and civil rights are strengthened for patients and prescribers. Americans for Safe Access issued its annual State of the States report on Thursday. The organization, a […]

U.S. Capitol building

U.S. House agrees on something: Lawmakers condemn ‘the horrors of socialism’

BY: - February 2, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House held a strongly bipartisan vote Thursday, condemning socialism and former socialist leaders, though Democrats rebuked majority Republicans for spending time on a “political stunt” and refusing to allow debate on an amendment that would have clarified Social Security and Medicare are not socialist programs. Maryland Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer said […]

Integra president and CEO Brett Robinson joins Gov. Laura Kelly during a news conference

Kansas reaches $304M incentives deal with Integra for $1.8 billion semiconductor project

BY: - February 2, 2023

TOPEKA — Kansas officials revealed a megadeal Thursday with Wichita-based Integra Technologies, which will receive $304 million in tax incentives over 10 years in exchange for a $1.8 billion investment in the manufacture of computer chips. As part of the deal, Integra plans to add 1,994 jobs and build a million-square-foot facility in Wichita. The […]

Independent state Sen. Dennis Pyle of Hiawatha is at the center of a neighor-to-neighbor property dispute that made its way Thursday to the Kansas Supreme Court. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Northeast Kansas farm neighbors Pyle, Gall ask state’s highest court to settle property dispute

BY: - February 2, 2023

TOPEKA — Protracted legal friction between neighboring northeast Kansas landowners Dennis Pyle and James Gall Jr. about vehicle and farm equipment access to crop fields finally matured sufficiently to reach the Kansas Supreme Court. The Gall and Pyle farming families endured a bench trial in Brown County District Court and proceedings with the Kansas Court […]