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.

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 […]


Sedgwick County Commissioner Lacey Cruse makes a point about the need for greater emphasis on homelessness during a September meeting of the Wichita City Council and the Sedgwick County Commission. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Sedgwick County commissioner Lacey Cruse on homelessness

HOSTED BY: and - November 1, 2021

Sedgwick County Commissioner Lacey Cruse lives in the poorest zip code in the state of Kansas. Immense challenges of homelessness as well as mental illness and substance abuse are visible from her front porch. Cruse joins host Tim Carpenter to discuss how she believes Sedgwick County and the city of Wichita can do a better […]


Seaman High School name controversy

HOSTED BY: and - October 25, 2021

Students at Seaman High School just north of Topeka ignited intense community conversation last year when their research revealed the school districts namesake had been an exalted cyclops in the Ku Klux Klan. Now, animosity over critical race theory has inflamed debate about whether to change the district’s name. Joining host Sherman Smith on the […]


Education at Fort Hays State University

HOSTED BY: and - October 18, 2021

Leading a public university during a devastating pandemic and demographic shifts slashing the number of college aged people is a mind boggling challenge. In addition to the evolving economy, emerging technology and politicization of government spending on higher education, the challenges are great. One of the six people entrusted to manage a state university in […]


The Kansas Department of Commerce is seeking public comment on 36 broadband infrastructure proposals for upgrading services om more than 30 counties with $5 million in matching funds from the state's highway program. (Submitted/Kansas Reflector)

Improving broadband in Kansas

HOSTED BY: and - October 11, 2021

The difference between the haves and have nots in the world of broadband services — think of it as the digital divide in the world of high-speed internet — can be felt in business education, health care and at home. Without it, you might have difficulty listening to this very podcast. Joining senior reporter Tim […]