Governor: Kansas to participate in nationwide lighting tribute honoring victims of COVID-19

BY: - January 15, 2021

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly announced her administration will turn off all interior lights in the Kansas Capitol building on the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 19, to honor those who have lost their lives to COVID-19.   The governor looked back on the difficult months since the pandemic began and offered her sympathies to those […]

Proponents and opponents of a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution declaring women don't have a right to abortion testified Friday for legislative committees preparing to forward measures to the full House and Senate to see if two-thirds majorities exist to put it on statewide ballots in 2022. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Abortion amendment to Kansas Constitution spotlights rivals’ well-hewn arguments

BY: and - January 15, 2021

House and Senate committees convened in the Old Supreme Court room at the Capitol for testimony on an abortion amendment to the Kansas Constitution.

Bills would raise legislators’ salaries, increase school employees’ contributions to KPERS

BY: - January 15, 2021

TOPEKA — State Rep. Ron Highland, R-Wamego, has seen several younger legislators leave Kansas for better-paying pastures since he was elected to the Legislature. Highland said a lack of competitive pay is sapping the state of talented lawmakers who simply cannot afford to serve in the Legislature. To compensate for the salaries, lawmakers are offered […]

Kansas Senate embraces new restrictions on local property taxes

BY: - January 14, 2021

TOPEKA — The Kansas Senate on Thursday passed legislation to require local governments to notify residents by mail and hold public hearings before increasing property tax collections. The tax bill removes a controversial lid on yearly mill levy increases and instead establishes a “revenue neutral rate,” which adjusts the effective tax rate to account for […]

Sen. Dennis Pyle, a Hiawatha Republican, failed to convince Senate colleagues to let the state's COVID-19 emergency disaster declaration expire Jan. 26 to reopen the economy. The Senate moved to extend the disaster declaration to March 31. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Senate rejects attempt to force expiration of Kansas’ COVID-19 disaster declaration

BY: - January 14, 2021

Kansas Senate moving to extend COVID-19 disaster declaration despite attempt to let it expire Jan. 26 to reopen the economy.

Kansas families to get 15% increase in food assistance for six months

BY: - January 14, 2021

TOPEKA — The Kansas Department for Children and Families said Thursday it was boosting monthly payments for food assistance by 15% for the next six months. The additional funding is made possible through a federal relief package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “These added funds are imperative to ensure Kansas families have access to […]

Kansas nursing homes working to address staffing and safety problems, agency official says

BY: - January 14, 2021

TOPEKA — A Kansas senator says federal pandemic aid has not been enough to alleviate ongoing issues with staffing and funding at Kansas nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the state. Sen. Pat Pettey, a Kansas City Democrat serving on the Senate Public Health Committee, said Thursday that issues like low wages and high […]

Kansas legislators weigh security risk as police gear up for threat of violence

BY: and - January 14, 2021

TOPEKA — Kansas legislators and Capitol Police are bracing for the potential of violence in the days leading up to and including the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Gov. Laura Kelly told legislative leadership in a security briefing Thursday morning that she plans to close the Statehouse to the public for one week, […]

Republican frustrated after Kansas health department opts out of hearings

BY: - January 14, 2021

TOPEKA — A Republican legislator voiced frustration with the state health department for ditching a planned presentation to the Senate health committee amid distrust with the governor’s COVID-19 vaccination strategy. A representative for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment was set to speak before the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee Tuesday morning, but […]

A pro-Trump mob broke into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C. and prompted the U.S. House to vote Wednesday in support of impeaching President Donald Trump. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Kansas delegation splits along party lines on impeachment

BY: - January 13, 2021

Kansas congressional delegation splits on party lines on House impeachment vote against President Donald Trump.

Wichita Democratic Rep. Gail Finney, right, urged a House committee to endorse legislation creating a youth and parent foster care bill of rights in state law to guarantee participants in the system understand their rights. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas bill advocates more reporting on racial elements of Black maternal deaths

BY: - January 13, 2021

House and Senate legislators seek state law requiring tracking of maternal fatalities to guide public health response.

Republicans in Kansas House seek healing through day of prayer, fasting, humiliation

BY: - January 13, 2021

TOPEKA — Four Republicans in the Kansas House backed a resolution Wednesday to declare Sept. 24 a day of prayer, fasting and public humiliation in Kansas. The resolution, introduced by Wellington Republican Rep. Bill Rhiley, asks for God “to heal our land of calamities, division, anger and strife” as the “nation cries out in pain, […]