Politics + Government

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach plans to request a $1 million budget increase from the Legislature in response to challenges filling 23 attorney vacanices in the office, including seven criminal prosecution positions. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Attorney General Kobach to request $1 million budget increase to fill prosecutor vacancies

BY: - February 2, 2023

Attorney General Derek Schmidt seeks $1 million budget increase to hire prosecutors to work complex criminal cases and enforce the new sports wagering law.

Anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in Kansas Legislature are political bullying tactic, activists say

BY: - February 2, 2023

TOPEKA — The Kansas GOP is testing the waters with new legislation meant to discredit the LGBTQ community, activists say, with bills seeking to criminalize gender-affirming care and drag show performances for children, and a revised ban on transgender athletes. House Bill 2238, a new form of the “fairness in women’s sports act,” which has […]

Stanley Goldfarb, a physician and founder of Do No Harm, asked the Kansas Senate to approve bills banning medical schools from involvement in diversity, equity and inclusion programs, critical race theory and race-based admissions. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from Kansas Legislature YouTube channel)

Physician asks Kansas lawmakers to ban racial diversity programs at medical schools, hospitals

BY: - February 2, 2023

Kansas Legislature welcomes physician seeking state law banning critical race theory, implicit bias and affirmative action from medical education.

OPINION
Sen. Mike Thompson on the Senate floor.

Kansas lawmakers want these bills to horrify you and your friends

BY: - February 2, 2023

The cruelty is the point. That’s the only impression left after watching state Sen. Mike Thompson’s latest foul attack on LGBTQ people. His new bill would classify drag shows as promoting obscenity and bar children from viewing them. Depending on the bill’s wording (text was conspicuously difficult to find Wednesday), it might make showing “Mrs. […]

Bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, are displayed

U.S. House Judiciary’s debut hearing on the border centers on blame for fentanyl crisis

BY: - February 1, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee blamed the Biden administration for fentanyl drug smuggling at the U.S.-Mexico border during a Wednesday hearing. Chair Jim Jordan of Ohio also blamed U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for the number of migrants at the border, and said there are already hundreds of […]

U.S. House panel probes extent of fraud in federal COVID-19 relief programs

BY: - February 1, 2023

WASHINGTON — From 2020 to 2022, a group of Minnesotans pretended to be serving meals to low-income children, all the while filing for reimbursement under a federal COVID-19 relief program aimed to buoy child nutrition as schools and childcare centers closed. In all, the schemers defrauded the government of $250 million, the Minnesota Reformer reported. […]

U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy talks to reporters

Biden, McCarthy hold ‘productive’ and ‘frank’ debt limit talks as fiscal cliffs loom

BY: - February 1, 2023

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy huddled behind closed doors at the White House on Wednesday in the first of what will likely be several conversations as the country approaches two fiscal cliffs this year amid divided government. The top issue at the moment is when and how to address […]

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)

Kansas AG announces plan to sue Biden administration over lesser prairie chicken protections

BY: - February 1, 2023

TOPEKA —  Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach plans to sue President Joe Biden’s administration over the lesser prairie chicken, calling federal protections for the bird illegal and potentially devastating to landowners and businesses in the state.  In a Tuesday announcement, Kobach said the listing of the bird as a threatened species failed to consider Kansas’ […]

Kansas Supreme Court Justice Melissa Standridge

Kansas Supreme Court justices point to ‘chilling’ impact of law on voter registration activity

BY: - February 1, 2023

TOPEKA — Kansas Supreme Court justices raised concerns Wednesday about the “chilling” effect a 2021 law could have on League of Women Voters volunteers and others who participate in voter registration drives. Part of the legislation makes it a crime to engage in conduct that would cause someone to believe you are an election worker. […]

Rep. Pat Proctor, a Fort Leavenworth Republican, said drop box ballot security measures should be taken. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas ballot drop boxes need to be more secure, lawmaker says, comparing issue to 9/11

BY: - February 1, 2023

TOPEKA —  Election officials debunked ideas of so-called ballot mules stuffing dozens of votes into drop boxes, reassuring lawmakers Tuesday that the boxes are already secure during a hearing fraught with election security concerns and misinformation.  During a House Elections Committee hearing, House Bill 2057 was opposed by a slew of election officers and voting […]

Rep. Bill Rhiley, R-Wellington, urged the Kansas House Transportation Committee to embrace a bill imposing a new battery recharge tax on owners of electric vehicles in response to decline of state gasoline tax revenue used to repair highways. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from Kansas Legislature YouTube channel)

Kansas electric vehicle advocates stomping brake on bill imposing new state recharge tax

BY: - February 1, 2023

Kansas House weighs idea of assessing special tax on charging stations for all-electric vehicles because EV owners are dodging state fuel taxes.

OPINION
The Kansas Department of Revenue reported the state took in $96 million or 11% more in state tax revenue in September than anticipated. State officials said a 40% surge in corporate income tax revenue was a sign of business optimism for the rest of 2022. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Flat tax would have catastrophic consequences for Kansans. We’ve already seen it happen.

BY: and - February 1, 2023

Even with the damage of Sam Brownback’s failed tax “experiment” visible in the rear-view mirror, the Kansas Chamber and others have begun pushing for a “flat” (one-rate) income tax, significantly benefiting wealthy individuals and large multinational corporations at the expense of working-class Kansans. Perhaps they think people have forgotten that the 2012 Brownback tax experiment […]