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.

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 […]


A week of election reform debate in the Kansas Legislature

HOSTED BY: - March 29, 2021

It has been about four months since Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab expressed confidence in state elections. Still, some legislators are considering significant changes to the election system. Voting rights activists say these measures under review by Republican-led committees could cut thousands of ballots in future elections or make access to voting harder. Republican […]


Gov. Laura Kelly said construction of Inevergy’s new Grain Belt Express transmission line to carry wind-driven electricity to Missouri, Illinois and Indiana can create about 1,000 permanent jobs in Kansas. This image is of Evergy's Flat Ridge Wind Farm near Medicine Lodge. (Submitted/Kansas Reflector)

Wind energy in Kansas and unprecedented regulatory legislation at the statehouse

HOSTED BY: and - March 22, 2021

Republican governors Sam Brownback and Jeff Colyer praised it. Democratic governors Kathleen Sebelius, Mark Parkinson and now Laura Kelly concurred. What were they excited about? They were pointing to wind farm development in Kansas. The state is a hotspot for wind power. On highways through blustery hills and flatlands of Kansas, you can’t miss these […]


Freshman Sen. Ethan Corson on his first legislative session

HOSTED BY: - March 16, 2021

Kansas voters overhauled the Kansas Senate in 2020, filling more than 1/3 of the 40 seats with newcomers. The chamber has 15 new members, a dozen of whom are Republicans and three who are Democrats. One of those freshman senators is Ethan Corson, D-Prairie Village, who had never before held elective office, but was no […]


From left, Kansas Reflector's founding team members are reporter Noah Taborda, senior reporter Tim Carpenter, opinion editor C.J. Janovy and editor in chief Sherman Smith. (Thad Allton for Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Reflector staff breaks down 2021 legislative session so far

HOSTED BY: , , and - March 10, 2021

In response to the pandemic and other policy desires, the 2021 Kansas legislative session has been packed with action on several fronts. It’s a long process and the Legislature has weeks left to discuss and amend favored bills, but some measures have already been approved. On this episode of the Kansas Reflector podcast, editor in […]


Voices from the debate over Kansas’ transgender sports bill

HOSTED BY: - March 1, 2021

Last week, the Kansas Senate Education Committee held a hearing on a bill forbidding any team designated for females to be open to students of the “male sex.” Champions of Senate Bill 208 said it would preserve hard-fought opportunities won by feminists for equal participation in athletics and guarantee a level playing field for girls […]


KNEA, KASB reps talk K-12 public education proposals

HOSTED BY: and - February 22, 2021

No Kansas legislative session is without a debate about the academics, leadership and financing of Kansas public education. This session is no exception. The conversations are made more compelling by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has interrupted in-class teaching, much to the dismay of lawmakers who questioned the wisdom of teaching the state’s 400,000 or so […]


Kansas State Treasurer Lynn Rogers, a Democrat seeking election in 2022, said the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System should divest of investments in Russia due to invasion of Ukraine. (Sherman smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Treasurer Lynn Rogers’ first month on the job

HOSTED BY: - February 15, 2021

In December 2020, Gov. Laura Kelly appointed then-Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers to fill the vacancy of state treasurer left by U.S. Rep. Jake LaTurner. Unlike his predecessors, Rogers does not see his new role as a stepping stone for future political positions. Rogers joins Tim Carpenter to discuss his first month in the role of […]


Janet Williams, founder of Minds Matter, the state's largest provider of services to people with brain injuries, says on the Kansas Reflector podcast the state needs to make the $8 million investment to provide services to children and adults with serious brain injuries. (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas’ unfunded brain injury program

HOSTED BY: - February 8, 2021

For years, Kansas declined to include children with brain injuries and some adults with comparable problems in the state’s Medicaid program. Finally, in 2019, the federal government prodded the state into expanding coverage to these vulnerable populations. Here’s the problem: The governor’s budget didn’t include the $8 million needed to finance the brain injury program […]


Rep. Ponka-We Victors-Cozad, a Native American and Wichita Democrat, said she rejected an apology by Rep. John Wheeler, R-Garden City, who made an insensitive remark about Victors-Cozad holding a tomahawk instead of a gavel. (Pool photo by Evert Nelson/Topeka Capital-Journal)

Missing and murdered Indigenous people top of mind for Kansas lawmaker

HOSTED BY: - February 2, 2021

As of Jan. 7, 2021, there are over 696 missing American Indian or Alaskan Native, including three in Kansas, according to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. A 2020 report using data from the Sovereign Bodies Institute, a nonprofit, Indigenous-led research organization, shows 2,306 Native American women and girls in the U.S are missing […]