Kansas Reflector Podcast


Kansas Reflector Podcast

The Kansas Reflector Podcast, hosted by senior reporter Tim Carpenter, presents voices from the people and politics of Kansas.

Haley Kottler on latest attempt to restrict programs for Kansans in need

HOSTED BY: - March 14, 2022

On Thursday, when the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee held a hearing on Senate Bill 501, a measure that would restrict access to an array of public assistance programs, such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The bill’s main advocate wasn’t a Kansas legislator: It was the Florida-based Opportunity Solutions Project, the […]


Rep. Jo Ella Hoye on gun control laws in Kansas

HOSTED BY: and - March 7, 2022

There’s a push in the Kansas Legislature to require state courts and law enforcement agencies to temporarily take custody of firearms from people convicted of domestic battery. A bill in the Senate would close a loophole in a 2018 law banning convicted domestic abusers from buying firearms in Kansas, which mirrors federal standards, but that […]


First responder mental wellness efforts in the Kansas Legislature

HOSTED BY: - February 28, 2022

The daily duties of a first responder leaves many scars, physical and even more so mental. The trauma from these sights and experiences last a lifetime and require years of healing. An effort is ongoing in Kansas to help destigmatize first responder wellness and guarantee workers compensation for those with diagnosed post traumatic stress disorder. […]


The state of public education in Kansas

HOSTED BY: and - February 21, 2022

There is a newfound emphasis by legislators on education policy. There is a sense looking at the list of education bills that some state lawmakers feel they need to micromanage classrooms, from preschool through high school. To help with insights into this legislative evolution are Lauren Tice Miller, a Shawnee Heights School Board member and […]


Defense attorney crisis in Kansas

HOSTED BY: and - February 14, 2022

The Kansas legal system is in a bind financially and ethically. While 85% of adult criminal cases in Kansas require appointed counsel, there’s a real lack of state funding, there’s a massive caseload and there’s high defense attorney turnover. It all calls into question whether the state is meeting its constitutional requirement to provide for […]


Widowed Kansas teacher’s COVID-19 story and message to Kansans

HOSTED BY: and - February 7, 2022

One year ago, the day after Valentine’s Day, Travis Zirkle lost his husband Jeff Wallace to COVID-19. Travis believes he brought the virus home from school where he’s a special education teacher.  In the year since, Zirkle, a Barnard resident, has grappled with grief, while also becoming an outspoken advocate for vaccination. Kansas Reflector opinion […]


Efforts to limit single-use plastic bags

HOSTED BY: and - January 31, 2022

Plastic bags used to haul away purchases from groceries and other retail stores have a 15 second lifespan in terms of how typical customers make use of them. Multiply that usage by 1 million bags a minute worldwide and the plastic starts to pile up. Consider these easy come easy go bags take 10 or […]


Millennials in Kansas Legislature unite with counterparts in business

HOSTED BY: and - January 24, 2022

The DC-based Millennial Action Project is working to engage young policymakers across the country — including members of the bipartisan Future Caucus in the Kansas Legislature. The organization recently gathered Kansas lawmakers, along with young entrepreneurs in the state, for a discussion at Iron Rail Brewery in Topeka. The voices in this week’s Reflector Podcast […]


Kansas Chamber 2022 legislative agenda

HOSTED BY: and - January 17, 2022

One of the loudest lobbying voices in the Capitol is the Kansas Chamber. The statewide business organization strives to influence public policy, and its political action committee works to influence outcome of elections. The state chamber of commerce annually issues a legislative agenda that touches on taxation, health care, workforce development, the legal system, government […]


Kansas Interfaith Action identifies priorities for 2022 legislative session

HOSTED BY: and - January 10, 2022

The Kansas Legislature returns Monday to the statehouse for the start of a new session where lawmakers will entertain a variety of policy ideas and the weeks and months ahead. Kansas Interfaith action, a multifaith advocacy organization, is among the groups hoping to influence those debates. On the Kansas Reflector podcast, editor in chief Sherman […]


Kansas Reflector staff on top issues from 2021 news

HOSTED BY: , and - January 3, 2022

Kansas Reflector editor in chief Sherman Smith, senior reporter Tim Carpenter and opinion editor Clay Wirestone talk about six topics — taxes, COVID-19, abortion, foster care, marijuana and critical race theory — that dominated the news in 2021 and implications for 2022. Read more: Hot topic opinions. Year in Review. Most-read stories.


Gov. Laura Kelly on reelection and 2022 legislative session

HOSTED BY: and - December 27, 2021

Gov. Laura Kelly is entering the fourth year of her governorship of Kansas, and faces a reelection challenge in 2022. The Democrat vowed, when sworn into office after the 2018 election, to stabilize the state government’s budget, bring coherence to K-12 public school funding, restore credibility to the state’s transportation program after years of broken […]