State Government

Agent Kay: the official state of Kansas ‘chatbot’

TOPEKA - The state of Kansas entered into a new technological phase recently when it launched an official state "chatbot" that can answer a variety of questions about state government almost instantly, online, using a databank that's being built with artificial intelligence. "Agent Kay" is the ...

Democratic candidates for Kansas governor differ on abortion, guns

TOPEKA - Hot-button social issues like gun rights and abortion typically play out in Republican politics in Kansas, but this year they are front and center in a five-way race for the Democratic nomination for governor. The two perceived front-runners in the race are state Sen. Laura Kelly, of ...

Gov. Colyer: State will pursue Medicaid work rules despite court’s ruling

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer says he will continue to push for a Medicaid work requirement despite a recent court order blocking a similar policy in Kentucky. Last week, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, an Obama appointee in the District of Columbia, questioned whether the Trump administration ...

New hiring rule for Kansas child protection workers faces pushback

TOPEKA — Ann Goodall's work with the Kansas Department of Children and Families is often traumatic, she said, and though she's been there for 16 years with no thought of quitting, many co-workers do. Child protection specialists such as Goodall spend their days knocking on doors that often ...

In GOP race for governor, Barnett challenges Colyer’s claims of KanCare savings

TOPEKA — Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Barnett on Tuesday challenged incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer's claim that the state's privatized Medicaid program known as KanCare, which Colyer largely designed, has saved taxpayers more than $2 billion. At a news conference, Barnett pointed to a ...

Interfaith clergy stage vigil at Kansas Statehouse to oppose immigration policy

TOPEKA — A group of clergy leaders from Jewish, Muslim and a variety of Christian faiths gathered at the Statehouse Monday to protest President Donald Trump's immigration policies and to show support for children who have been separated from their parents after crossing the U.S.-Mexico ...

Kansas 2018 tax receipts up $1.2 billion from previous year

TOPEKA — The state of Kansas received $1.2 billion more in tax revenue during the fiscal year that ended June 30 than it did the year before, the Kansas Department of Revenue said Monday. The biggest increase over the year was in individual income taxes, which were $1 billion higher than the ...

Inmates break windows, set fires during weekend riot at El Dorado prison

EL DORADO — Inmates broke dozens of windows and set fires during a weekend disturbance at a maximum-security prison in south-central Kansas that has been the scene of other incidents, officials said Monday. Nobody was hurt in the fracas that started around noon Sunday in the recreation yard ...

Even in Republican-dominated Kansas, 2 congressional seats in play

TOPEKA — Competitive races for two of Kansas' four U.S. House seats are making Republicans sweat to keep their all-GOP state delegation, a twist in a state where President Donald Trump won by nearly 21 points and a leading candidate for governor is gun-rights and immigration hardliner Kris ...

Kansas may be on hook for more costs in voting rights case

WICHITA — The ruling that struck down the state's proof-of-citizenship voter registration law leaves Kansas potentially on the hook to pay attorney's fees and costs for the winning side. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson granted Monday a joint request asking her to hold off awarding all ...

Judge sets hearing on wannabe candidate Vermin Supreme’s lawsuit

WICHITA — A federal judge has set a hearing for next week to hear arguments on the request by a Massachusetts man seeking to put his name on the Republican primary ballot for attorney general. U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren will take up the issue on Tuesday in federal court in Wichita. ...

Kansas lawmakers requesting audit of Westar Energy

Wichita — A bipartisan coalition of Kansas lawmakers is requesting an independent audit of an electric utility’s operations before the company is allowed to raise its rates. The lawmakers asked the Kansas Corporation Commission for a review of Westar Energy at a public hearing on Thursday, ...

Colyer: I want to be governor that ends abortions in Kansas

OVERLAND PARK, KAN. — Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer says he wants to be the governor who ends abortion in the state, but he'll need help from fellow abortion opponents to do so. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the Republican spoke Thursday at the National Right to Life convention that is ...

Kansas lawmakers question why protesters were locked out of Statehouse

TOPEKA — Kansas legislative leaders said Wednesday that they want more information about when security officials can lock people out of the Statehouse and who has the authority to make such a decision. During a meeting Wednesday of the Legislative Coordinating Council, comprising the top ...

Gannon decision puts internet sales tax, sports gambling back on the table

Monday's decision from the Kansas Supreme Court on school finance may be just what it takes to put two seemingly unrelated issues back on the table at the Kansas Legislature: taxing internet sales and sports gambling. To refresh, the court ruled Monday in the long-running case Gannon v. Kansas ...