Politics + Government

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)

House sends bipartisan public lands bill to president’s desk

BY: and - July 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — Major environmental legislation sailed through Congress Wednesday while the nation’s political leaders were stuck in intense negotiations over the contours of a fifth coronavirus relief package. The bill would provide $9.5 billion over five years to pay down the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog and provide permanent funding at $900 million per year […]

Vaccine makers deny political pressure in race for safe, effective shot

BY: - July 22, 2020

Leaders of the companies working on some of the top candidates for COVID-19 vaccines predict they should have shots available by early 2021 but said they will rely on the federal government to determine how to distribute them. The heads of five biopharmaceutical companies with promising vaccine candidates told members of Congress on Tuesday they […]

U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, who represents the 1st District in Kansas, is competing against former Secretary of State Kris Kobach and a handful of other candidates in the August Republican primary. (Submitted)

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts endorses Roger Marshall in GOP primary

BY: - July 21, 2020

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., endorses Congressman Roger Marshall in the GOP primary. Roberts' retirement set off a scramble for the seat.

Kansas Republican U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran released a statement to constituents saying President Donald Trump has the right to wage a legal fight for a fair counting of votes in the presidential election, but should offer presumed Democrat Joe Biden the national security briefings and other support common to transition to a new president. (Submitted)

Kansas attorney general outlines COVID-19 scams for U.S. Senate panel

BY: - July 21, 2020

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., chaired a Senate subcommittee hearing Tuesday on COVID-19 scams. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt shared testimony.

Spirit AeroSystems employee Michelle Tran discovered after furloughed during the COVID-19 pandemic that she had inadvertently accepted years ago unemployment benefits she wasn't entitled to receive. She paid back the money with interest, but is banned from getting jobless assistance for five years under Kansas law. (Submitted by Michelle Tran to Kansas Reflector)

Kansas enforces nation’s most draconian penalty for unemployment ‘fraud’

BY: - July 21, 2020

Kansas has the toughest unemployment law in the nation — a five-year penalty — for any type of "fraud," which includes inadvertently taking extra cash.

Gov. Laura Kelly prepares for a podcast recording at Kansas Reflector's office. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Gov. Laura Kelly shields core government services as COVID-19 rocks Kansas economy

BY: - July 21, 2020

TOPEKA — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly said the Kansas economy’s emergence from COVID-19 depends on sober responses to the public health nightmare, record unemployment and inevitable declines in tax revenue. She said the answer wasn’t to recklessly throw open doors to business activity nor starve core state government services, such as education or transportation. That […]

OPINION
From left, Kansas Reflector's founding team members are reporter Noah Taborda, senior reporter Tim Carpenter, opinion editor C.J. Janovy and editor in chief Sherman Smith. (Thad Allton for Kansas Reflector)

I was on front lines, and sidelines, of pandemic coverage. Now, I’m living the dream.

BY: - July 21, 2020

At the height of an unprecedented health crisis, I found myself on the sidelines. I knew somebody who knew somebody, and before I knew it, I had accepted an offer for my dream job — a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to launch a nonprofit news organization dedicated to serving the people of Kansas.

Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed a bill Friday that would have established a new three-person board to control distribution of about $500 million in federal COVID-19 aid to Kansas businesses claiming damages from temporary closures or other pandemic restrictions. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Board of Education to vote on Gov. Laura Kelly’s plan to delay school opening

BY: - July 21, 2020

TOPEKA — The Kansas State Board of Education will sit in judgment Wednesday of Gov. Laura Kelly’s response to the uptick in coronavirus cases and deaths that features a delay in opening of public schools serving 500,000 students until early September. Kelly released text of the directive Monday calling for postponement of in-person instruction, athletic […]

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters Monday while hosting House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the Oval Office. Trump talked with congressional leaders about a proposed new round of financial stimulus to help the economy during the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. (Doug Mills/Getty Images)

The rent is coming due. Can Congress agree on a relief deal?

BY: - July 21, 2020

WASHINGTON — The nation’s political leaders returned to the capital Monday with their sights on a fifth — and perhaps final — round of coronavirus relief before the November elections. The stakes are high and the timetable is short: Three weeks remain before Congress is set to adjourn for its August recess — though House […]

Delayed U.S. 50 project breaks ground with promise of jobs

BY: - July 21, 2020

Gov. Laura Kelly and Kansas Department of Transportation secretary Julie Lorenz broke ground Monday on a long-delayed project to widen a one-mile area of U.S. Highway 50 to four lanes. The expansion, which will cover an area with heavy truck traffic near Emporia in Lyon County, was one of the delayed T-WORKS projects selected for […]