Lawmakers are ignoring Kansas voters, interfering in our private medical decisions
Less than 12 hours after the race was called Aug. 2 in favor of freedom, I was on a media call with my colleague Rachel Sweet and roughly 50 local, state and national reporters to discuss this historic victory. We had both worked to defeat an anti-abortion amendment to the Kansas constitution, and our side […]
Kansas legislators want a pay increase. Those working minimum-wage jobs deserve one too.
Kansas legislators have figured out a way to boost their pay — through an independent body that would explore per diem and retirement benefits. Reportedly, the nine-member, independent body would shield lawmakers from the appearance that they’re feathering their own nests, which do need some feathers. Legislative pay has stalled at $88.66 per day and […]
When major news sources report and promote lies, what is the public to do?
The recent revelation that multiple hosts on Fox News deliberately misled their audience — reporting and promoting the lie that there was rampant voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election when they knew there was none — may not be surprising but is definitely damning. Every American who cares about the role of the press […]
Statehouse scraps: The hearings that weren’t, school monopoly loopiness, bills never die in Kansas
Where are the hearings? That’s my question as the Kansas Statehouse barrels into its final three weeks. Gov. Laura Kelly and advocates rallied for Medicaid expansion on Wednesday. Forget whether lawmakers want to approve the policy or not. They haven’t even held a single hearing about it this session. Kansas Reflector has run repeated stories […]
As birds migrate across Kansas skies, we have the tools to keep them safe
It mystifies me that while I sleep, millions of birds are passing silently overhead on a migration flight that can — for some of them — amount to tens of thousands of miles. I’m fascinated by the instinct that drives them and the adaptation processes that prepare their seemingly fragile bodies to survive their arduous […]
Emporia State demands ransom for public records. You deserve to know what they’re hiding.
We asked Emporia State University a simple question. After breaking the law in responding to us, the school now wants a preposterous ransom to answer it. You can complicate the matter one way or another, but that’s the situation we face here at Kansas Reflector, as our editors and reporters continually pursue stories that powerful […]
Kansas Legislature’s clumsy regulatory attempt would remove vital tool to fight climate crisis
I’ve been around the Kansas Legislature for a while now, and a topic that comes up regularly is legislative attempts to prevent policies to address the challenge of human-caused climate disruption. I remember some years ago when Agenda 21 was the thing — the United Nations was going to send black helicopters to take away […]
Kansas legislators’ war on the poor opens worrisome new front: School vouchers and tax avoidance
Kansas legislative leaders have declared war on the poor. They have pushed bills penalizing those receiving government assistance through the House Welfare Reform Committee. They have advocated a flat tax plan that benefits the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. We have watched these proposals unfold in recent weeks, watched and heard the disdain. […]
Flat tax proposals will put Kansas at risk. My home is worth protecting from destructive policy.
After almost six years on the east coast, I’m moving back to Kansas this summer, which means I’ll soon be part of what Sarah Smarsh calls “the homecomers”: folks who return to — and fight for — the rural places they love. I look forward to spontaneous drives through the Flint Hills with friends and […]
Statehouse scraps: Big support for voting rights, transgender ban numbers, homelessness bill paused
If you haven’t visited the Kansas Statehouse before, I recommend it. The restored building practically glows with early 20th century beauty, and you might spot your favorite lawmaker. You might spot your least-favorite lawmaker too, and if they have a moment you could tell them so. Journalists, including yours truly, show up for the fun. […]
Bill Self’s illness reminds us how much he has accomplished as Kansas head coach
The University of Kansas men’s basketball team and its fans face the prospect of entering the postseason with head coach Bill Self away from the bench. It’s a striking absence — hopefully temporary — for a program that has been defined by its head coach. Self was hospitalized Thursday, forcing the hall of fame coach […]
Reducing incarceration could cut costs while helping our fellow Kansans
Industrial engineers are system engineers. We work to understand where pain occurs in processes so people can function more easily. A maxim that resonated with me when I studied industrial engineering was the notion that “to err is human.” Those who make mistakes should neither be blamed nor punished. Instead, we strive to look at […]