State Government

Kansas faces new fight over taxes after years of turmoil

Topeka — Kansas’ new Democratic governor promised not to raise taxes to meet her goals of boosting spending on public schools and social services. Republicans who control the Legislature argue that a tax increase is coming even if state politicians do nothing. One of the first big ...

Kobach says he worries voter fraud occurred in North Carolina race

WASHINGTON — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach worries fraud might have tainted a North Carolina congressional race that a fellow Republican appeared to have narrowly won. The Washington Post reports that Kobach said during an interview that his concerns are "based on what I have read" ...

Kansas agency defends new process for child welfare services

TOPEKA — Despite concerns over a new process being used by the Kansas Department of Children and Families to choose care providers, the agency's leader said the process is more transparent than at any time in the past. The agency is now awarding grants rather than seeking bids for contracts ...

New Kansas governor wants to roll back cash assistance rules

Story updated at 6:26 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4: TOPEKA — Kansas’ new Democratic governor wants state lawmakers to roll back a work requirement and other cash assistance rules championed by a Republican predecessor as she prepares to grapple with problems in the state’s child welfare ...

Criminal justice reform on Douglas County’s 2019 legislative wish list

The Douglas County Commission will consider Wednesday supporting a platform in 2019 that calls on the Kansas Legislature to start looking at comprehensive criminal justice reform. In a memo to commissioners, Douglas County Administrator Craig Weinaug wrote that voter dissatisfaction with ...

Kansas tax collections $2.5M more than expected in November

Topeka — Kansas is reporting it collected $2.5 million more in taxes than expected in November and extended its streak of better-than-anticipated figures to 18 consecutive months. It is the longest streak of better-than-expected tax collections in more than 50 years. An AP spreadsheet ...

Kansas government sees LGBT milestones, yet big change may come slowly

TOPEKA — Kansas will swear in its first two openly LGBT state lawmakers next month and the new Democratic governor promises to end a ban on discrimination over sexual orientation or gender identity in state hiring and employment decisions once she takes office. Yet other goals for ...

Kansas House GOP elects more conservative majority leader; Democrats dump firebrand

TOPEKA — Republicans in the Kansas House elected a new, more conservative majority leader Monday and Democrats dumped their firebrand leader in the chamber in favor of lower-key veteran with a reputation for being able to work with the GOP. The selection of conservative Rep. Dan Hawkins of ...

Kansas lawmakers to start talking about sports betting

Kansas City, Mo. — Kansas lawmakers will get a crash course in sports gambling this week as they consider how to capitalize on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May that lifted a federal ban on it. Seven states offer legal sports betting, and Kansas is among numerous other states considering ...

Kansas saw 1M vote, record for nonpresidential election

TOPEKA — More than 1 million Kansas residents voted in the state's general election earlier this month to set a record for a nonpresidential year. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Friday that the voter turnout of nearly 58 percent was "extraordinary." In nonpresidential years over ...

Kansas House member to replace Gov.-elect Kelly in Senate

TOPEKA — Democrats have picked a Kansas House member to fill Gov.-elect Laura Kelly's former state Senate seat, more than three decades after he ran unsuccessfully for it. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Democratic precinct committee members in Kelly's former Topeka-area district ...

Kobach says he’s talked to Trump, amid speculation about job with administration

TOPEKA — Kris Kobach said Friday that he's not seeking "random federal jobs" after losing the Kansas governor's race and suggested it could take him at least another month to decide what his future holds after he steps down as the state's top elections official. Kobach told reporters that he ...

Task force nearing consensus on framework of next Kansas transportation plan

TOPEKA - A legislative task force appeared to reach consensus Wednesday on a number of key elements that it believes should be part of the state's next multiyear transportation plan, including increased funding for urban mass transit systems and restoration of state funding for city and county ...