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.

What the Kids Count report means for Kansas

HOSTED BY: and - June 21, 2021

Advocates worry a decade of progress improving the lives of Kansas children could be undermined by COVID-19 if policymakers can’t sustain recovery from the pandemic. Even before COVID-19 infected the world, Kansas trailed more than 20 states in terms of child well-being based on a series of metrics tracked annually by the Annie E. Casey […]


Food insecurity in southwest Kansas

HOSTED BY: - June 15, 2021

A new report by the Kansas Appleseed Center for Law and Justice is re-examining barriers to food access faced by many southwest Kansans. For example, participation in the the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has decreased even though the need has increased in Stevens, Seward, Grant, Ford, and Finney counties. Jami Reever, executive director of the […]


A sneak peak at the Kansas Capitol tour, reopening June 14

HOSTED BY: - June 7, 2021

Most years, the Kansas Capitol would attract more than 6,500 visitors to see the state history contained there. But with a pandemic raging last year, activity grinded to a halt. Now, the Kansas Historical Society plans to reopen the Statehouse for tours on June 14. Joe Brentano, the Capitol Visitor’s Center coordinator, has given these […]


Matt Lindsey, center facing, president of the Kansas Independent College Association, said the 20 accredited institutions in the organization proved to be a magnet for students during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Submitted/Kansas Reflector)

A tour of Kansas’ independent colleges

HOSTED BY: - May 31, 2021

Scattered across Kansas are an assortment of private colleges ranging in size from 300 to 3,600 students. That list includes Baker and Friends universities, Benedictine and Bethany colleges, MidAmerica Nazarene, McPherson College, University of St. Mary and others. What do they all have in common? They’re part of the Kansas Independent College Association. Joining the […]


Republican state Rep. Steven Johnson, an Assaria farmer running for the GOP nomination for state treasurer, is officially alone in the GOP race but expects the field to expand. (Screen capture/Kansas Reflector)

Rep. Steven Johnson: Candidate for state treasurer

HOSTED BY: and - May 24, 2021

Kansas voters thought they gained some distance between politicians and all those ads, mailers and speeches during the 2020 election cycle. Not so fast! The 2022 campaign season upon us and fans of the electoral process can expect competitive races for governor, attorney general, the U.S. House and state treasurer. Senior reporter Tim Carpenter is joined on […]


KDHE secretary Lee Norman update on Kansas health amid COVID-19

HOSTED BY: - May 17, 2021

On Saturday, March 7, 2020, at the Capitol, Lee Norman confirmed the unsettling but inevitable news that Kansas had its first case of the novel coronavirus. Since then, more than 311,000 Kansans have been infected. Overall, more than 5000 infected Kansans have died. Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, has been […]


Veto session: Business relief, taxes and medical marijuana

HOSTED BY: , , and - May 10, 2021

After four months of the legislative session, the Kansas Legislature reached bedrock and key areas of public policy. The evidence emerges in the most simplistic forms in the snappy yes or no votes of bills and amendment resolutions, and also in poignant and sometimes lengthy speeches on the House and Senate floors. Senior reporter Tim […]


House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins, House Speaker Ron Ryckman and House Speaker Pro Tem Blaine Finch, left to right, return to Topeka on Monday to grapple with Gov. Laura Kelly's vetoes and a series of unfinished bills. (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

The agenda for veto session at the Kansas Statehouse

HOSTED BY: and - May 3, 2021

The Republican-dominated Kansas Legislature covered Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s desk with a pile of bills that turned out to include an unusual amount of veto bait. In all, she vetoed eight bills and line-item vetoed more than a dozen provisions of a massive budget bill. House and Senate Republicans are licking their chops. They say […]


The Kansas Legislature through voices of prayer

HOSTED BY: and - April 26, 2021

The House and Senate frequently begin their work on behalf of Kansans standing side-by-side with heads bowed in prayer. In these moments, religious leaders and sometimes legislators urge all 165 members to follow the Good Word and to go about their political objectives as instruments of peace. The elected are directed repeatedly to sow love […]


Paul Johnson (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

Energy policy observers examine Kansas securitization plan

HOSTED BY: and - April 19, 2021

A bill overwhelmingly passed by the Kansas Legislature and signed by Gov. Laura Kelly allows investor-owned utility companies to issue ratepayer-backed bonds to retire expensive power plants and transition to alternatives, such as wind or solar power. The bonds also enable utility companies to deal with price shocks on natural gas from February’s cold snap. […]


Don’t Tread on Me license plate sparks debate over flag ties, meaning

HOSTED BY: - April 12, 2021

A seemingly innocuous bill approving a series of new distinctive license plates sparked debate last week in the Kansas Legislature. That’s because one plate included would be based on the Gadsden flag — a design critics say has ties to slavery. Cristopher Gadsden designed the yellow Revolutionary War symbol bearing a hissing snake and the […]


Bob Beatty, political science professor at Washburn University in Topeka, says emergence of major candidates in the 2022 contest for Kansas governor got the contest off to an early start. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Political science professors evaluate Legislature, candidates for governor

HOSTED BY: - April 5, 2021

Political scientists Bob Beatty, of Washburn University, and Michael Smith, of Emporia State University, consider the work of the House and Senate this legislative session, as well as the performance of Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Republicans who want to take her job in 2022. Read more about the governor’s […]