Politics + Government

The state of Kansas faces a federal class action lawsuit over delays in mental health evaluations at the chronically understaffed Larned State Hospital. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from KDADS video)

Kansas inmates wait months for treatment due to shortage of mental health hospital beds

BY: - October 3, 2022

TOPEKA — Local government officials urged Kansas lawmakers to fund more mental health services, saying the shortage of mental health beds is pushing understaffed hospitals and jails to the brink.  Larned State Hospital is the largest psychiatric facility in the state, used by the western two-thirds of Kansas. With a shortage of available beds there, […]


Kansas doesn’t have a brand while New York does? Fuhgeddaboudit!

BY: - October 3, 2022

Here’s a three-word response to New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ claim last week that Kansas doesn’t have a brand. Sunflowers, tornadoes and abolitionists. Here are a few more, for the sake of completeness. Bison, chili with cinnamon rolls, and the “Wizard of Oz.” With that out of the way, it’s worth asking why the […]

Ketanji Brown Jackson at investiture ceremony

A new justice at the U.S. Supreme Court, and an Idaho wetlands case up first

BY: - October 2, 2022

When the U.S. Supreme Court opens its fall term on Monday, a few things will be different. A Black woman, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, will hear oral arguments for the first time ever. And the public will be allowed into the room for the first time since early 2020. The content of the term’s first […]

Federal prisons ‘riddled with mismanagement’ probed by U.S. Senate panel

BY: - October 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in a Thursday hearing grilled the top leader of federal prisons on how the agency would address staffing shortages and reports of abuse of incarcerated people. “The Bureau (of Prisons) has been riddled with mismanagement and, sadly, with scandal,” said the chairman of the committee, Illinois […]

Hurricane Ian damage in Matlacha, Florida

Biden to battered Florida: ‘We’re going to do everything we can for you’

BY: - September 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden addressed the nation Friday afternoon, focusing on uniting the country as Florida begins to survey the damage left by a Category 4 hurricane, while states further up the coast prepare for the impact from Hurricane Ian. “As you all know, the situation in Florida is far more devastating,” Biden said. […]

Hours ahead of shutdown deadline, U.S. House sends Biden stopgap spending bill

BY: - September 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House members, mostly along party lines, cleared a spending package Friday that would bolster funding for natural disaster response, though with Hurricane Ian still battering the Southeast, lawmakers will likely need to approve another aid bill later this year. The measure would provide $2.5 billion in assistance for the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon […]

Kansas rehab patients sent to nursing homes because of attendant care shortages

BY: - September 30, 2022

TOPEKA —Medical professionals say patients are being sent from rehabilitation services to nursing homes because of a shortage of medical support workers in Kansas. Janet Williams, CEO of Mind Matters, a brain injury rehabilitation organization, said health care providers are recommending people go from rehab to nursing homes because of a lack of available care. […]

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 […]


Butter, garage doors and SUVs: Why shortages remain common 2½ years into the pandemic

BY: - September 30, 2022

Shortages of basic goods still plague the U.S. economy — 2½ years after the pandemic’s onset turned global supply chains upside down. Want a new car? You may have to wait as long as six months, depending on the model you order. Looking for a spicy condiment? Supplies of Sriracha hot sauce have been running dangerously low. And […]

US Capitol at Night

U.S. Senate approves stopgap spending bill with disaster relief, heating aid

BY: - September 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate approved broadly bipartisan legislation Thursday that would provide billions for natural disaster relief, military and economic aid to Ukraine and funding to help low-income families offset the rising costs of heating and cooling their homes. It includes $2.5 billion in assistance for the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire that burned large swaths of […]

Natalie Ellis appears in ad to support Derek Schmidt

After Wichita mom stars in Schmidt attack ad, defenders of Kelly as ‘education governor’ pounce

BY: - September 29, 2022

Democrat Laura Kelly responds to an attack ad from Republican Derek Schmidt on education policy, a key issue in the 2022 campaign for Kansas governor.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly, campaigning against Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt, said her second-term agenda included end of state's food sales tax, tax relief for the elderly and back-to-school sales tax holiday. (Photos by Sherman Smith and Thad Allton/Kansas Reflector)

Kelly backs school sales tax holiday, tax relief for elderly and quicker end of 6.5% food tax

BY: - September 29, 2022

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly unveils first plank of second-term agenda ahead of Nov. 8 showdown with GOP nominee Derek Schmidt.