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.

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 […]


Kansas Name Change Project

HOSTED BY: and - December 20, 2021

For transgender Kansans, changing their names and identity documents to reflect their true selves can be an arduous and expensive process. A new program from Kansas Legal Services aims to change that for moderate- and low-income Kansans. Tori Gleason, a health care provider in Western Kansas, and Ellen Bertels, founder of the Kansas Name Change […]


Lee Norman on managing the pandemic and being fired

HOSTED BY: and - December 13, 2021

Lee Norman was prepared for the possibility that a new and deadly virus could induce a global pandemic long before many people were familiar with the threat that became known as COVID-19. But he was caught off-guard by the governor’s decision to fire him as secretary of the Kansas Department for Health and Environment after […]


Kansas advocates talk Build Back Better bill

HOSTED BY: and - December 6, 2021

There’s a messy debate raging in Washington, D.C., around the Build Back Better bill, which is President Joe Biden’s economic growth package. It’s a profound investment in America’s future, Democrats argue. Republicans, on the other hand, generally view it as a budgetary albatross. On this Kansas Reflector Podcast, David Jordan, president of the United Methodist […]


Kansas special session 2021: What should have been the focus?

HOSTED BY: - November 29, 2021

The Kansas special legislative session last week only lasted one day but still elicited many strong responses and wild speeches. The new law provides moral, religious and medical exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine requirements and ensure unemployment compensation for anyone who is fired because of their vaccine status. Considerations of such action were criticized by Democratic […]


Rick Serrano: Buried truths and the Hyatt skywalks

HOSTED BY: and - November 23, 2021

People living in the Kansas City area in the summer of 1981 can recall the harrowing collapse of two overhead walkways inside the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Those platforms were full of partygoers attending an evening dance in the lobby below. The tragedy killed 114 people and injured more than 200. On the 40th anniversary of […]


Cutting the sales tax on groceries would save Kansas families $500 or more a year on their grocery bills and improve food insecurity, according to the governor's office. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Cutting the food sales tax

HOSTED BY: - November 15, 2021

If you go to the grocery store in Kansas, you will see the total cost of your shopping being a little larger than in many other states. That’s because Kansas is one of seven states with a full tax on groceries and at a rate of 6.5%, has the second highest tax in the nation. […]


Hunger in southeast Kansas

HOSTED BY: and - November 8, 2021

According to Kansas Appleseed, one in six residents of southeast Kansas is food insecure and a stunning one in four children in the region is food insecure. That’s the topic of the advocacy group’s new report, “Hunger in Southeast Kansas.” Kansas Reflector opinion editor Clay Wirestone is joined by two members of the Kansas Appleseed […]