Politics + Government

Trump’s $400 per week jobless aid could be just $300. It depends on where you live.

BY: - August 10, 2020

WASHINGTON — Governors, lawmakers and state unemployment agencies on Monday wrestled with confusion created by President Donald Trump’s executive action extending unemployment benefits, and it appeared some states could settle for $300 per week in benefits instead of the $400 the president touted. State leaders from both political parties remained unsure how much they’d have […]

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, left, filed a lawsuit Monday designed to keep the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma from building a casino on land in Park City. The U.S. Department of Interior decided in May the project could proceed. The plaintiffs are two tribes, the city of Mulvane and Sumner County, which hosts the Kansas Star Casino. (Kansas Reflector)

Kansas attorney general files federal lawsuit to thwart proposed tribal casino

BY: - August 10, 2020

TOPEKA — Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma Chief Bill Friend expressed skepticism Monday a federal lawsuit filed by the Kansas attorney general on behalf of four plaintiffs would succeed in blocking construction of a trial casino on land near Wichita. The petition submitted by Attorney General Derek Schmidt in U.S. District Court seeks an order setting […]

House Speaker Ron Ryckman, left, and House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins will retain their leadership positions in the House for the 2021 session, while Senate Republicans elected Sen. Ty Masterson, an Andover Republican, to be Senate president. (Nick Krug/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas dials up plan to spend $60 million in COVID-19 aid on broadband expansion

BY: - August 10, 2020

Gov. Laura Kelly joins legislators to direct $60 million in COVID-19 aid to expand broadband to address telemedicine, education and business needs.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment secretary Lee Norman says during a recording of the Kansas Reflector podcast that he would prefer mask mandates to curtail the spread of COVID-19. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

KDHE secretary warns of ‘lethal brew,’ yearns for mask mandate, says schools not yet safe

BY: - August 10, 2020

KDHE Secretary Lee Norman tells Kansas Reflector bars are red-hot vectors of COVID-19, Kansas needs mask mandate, too soon to open schools and universities.

Kansas Sen. Jeff Longbine, an Emporia Republican, used a $336,000 loan through the federal Payroll Protection Program to sustain employment of more than 35 employees at his Longbine Auto Plaza. More than 53,000 Kansas businesses have made use of $5 billion in PPP loans. (Nick Krug for Kansas Reflector)

Emergency paycheck loan program delivers $5 billion to 53,000 Kansas businesses

BY: - August 9, 2020

TOPEKA — Chevrolet dealer Jeff Longbine understood the economic damage to sales from the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential benefit of an emergency federal loan program fashioned to sustain small businesses and prevent employee layoffs. He applied for and received $336,000 under the Paycheck Protection Program, which is the $669 billion nationwide initiative created through […]

Payment Protection Program loans kept health care facilities across Kansas operating through the pandemic (University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita Medical Practice Association)

PPP loans keep hospitals, clinics financially stable

BY: - August 9, 2020

TOPEKA — Hospitals and clinics in Kansas, which were struggling to pay employees and stay above water financially before COVID-19, were buoyed by millions of dollars in Payment Protection Program loans. Since 2010, seven rural hospitals have closed across Kansas, including Sumner Community Hospital and St. Luke’s Cushing Hospital this year. A 2019 study indicated […]

President Donald Trump addresses the nation in March from the Oval Office about the widening coronavirus crisis. He is expected to sign a bill that provides $9.5 billion over five years to pay down the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog. (Doug Mills/Pool/Getty Images)

Trump moves to extend unemployment benefits, suspend payroll taxes after talks break down

BY: and - August 8, 2020

President Donald Trump on Saturday circumvented Congress and took action into his own hands, after weeks of unsuccessful negotiations over another coronavirus relief package on Capitol Hill. He signed three presidential memoranda and an executive order at his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J. Trump would provide $300 per week in federal unemployment assistance with […]

Brianna Ibarra, a Shawnee freshman at the University of Kansas, said Friday she willingly participated in the mandatory COVID-19 testing of students as the campus prepares for opening of fall semester classes. Her father, George, helped with her belongings outside a KU residence hall. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

K-State, KU take different avenues on COVID-19 testing of students

BY: and - August 7, 2020

The University of Kansas and Kansas State University to employ different testing strategies for COVID-19 when students return to campus.

Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control at the University of Kansas Health System, answers questions during a virtual media briefing Friday. (Screenshot by Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas governor tests negative for coronavirus after House speaker says he caught virus

BY: and - August 7, 2020

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday following disclosure by House Speaker Ron Ryckman that he had been hospitalized for a week with coronavirus in July. A political firestorm erupted on Thursday following Ryckman’s disclosure that he tested positive for the coronavirus on July 13. He was criticized for delaying for […]

House Speaker Ron Ryckman, an Olathe Republican, said the 2021 Legislature would have benefit of new safety protocols to limit potential spread of COVID-19. He said a bright spot in the process was implementing new live streaming capabilities to make House and Senate work more transparent. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman infected, hospitalized with COVID-19 in July

BY: - August 6, 2020

Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman acknowledged Thursday he was infected last month with COVID-19 and spent a week in the hospital. The Republican from Olathe said he recovered from the illness, tested negative for the virus and received clearance from a doctor before attending a meeting last week with the governor and other legislative leaders. […]

Gov. Laura Kelly and Jurgen Richt, a Kansas State University professor, on Thursday discuss COVID-19 research being conducted at the university's Biosecurity Research Institute in Manhattan. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas State biosecurity researchers deliver tutorial to Gov. Laura Kelly on COVID-19

BY: - August 6, 2020

Kansas State University researchers explain to Gov. Laura Kelly research at Biosecurity Research Institute on COVID-19, other lethal pathogens.

Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. (July 29, 2020, photo by Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Coronavirus trends, testimonials humble and educate top Kansas health official

BY: - August 5, 2020

Kansas Department of Health and Environment secretary Lee Norman said rural counties lacking mask mandates have struggled more than their urban counterparts to contain COVID-19 in recent weeks. In the 15 counties with mask ordinances, Norman reported a rapid dropoff in cases per 100,000 people over a four week period. He said in the 90 […]