State Government

Kansas abortion foes brace for state Supreme Court decision

TOPEKA — Abortion opponents in Kansas have been bracing themselves for nearly two years for a ruling from the state's highest court that protects the right to have an abortion and potentially upends politics in a state long at the center of the national debate. The Kansas Supreme Court is ...

Kansas Senate president Susan Wagle considering 2020 race for U.S. Senate

WICHITA — The top Republican in the Kansas Senate said Wednesday that she is considering a run for the U.S. Senate in 2020, saying she believes Congress needs more conservative Republican women. Senate President Susan Wagle told the Wichita Eagle that she plans to form an exploratory ...

New Kansas governor fills out administration ahead of inauguration

TOPEKA — Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly has continued naming new members of her administration in the week leading up to her inauguration. Kelly announced new members of her cabinet Wednesday after revealing other top officials earlier in the week and at the end of the previous week. Those ...

Kansas state treasurer running for U.S. Senate seat in 2020

TOPEKA — Kansas State Treasurer Jake LaTurner is running for the U.S. Senate in 2020. LaTurner declared his candidacy Tuesday for the Republican nomination, less than a week after four-term GOP Sen. Pat Roberts announced that he will not run for re-election. The 30-year-old LaTurner said ...

Kansas bill would crack down on robocalls, fake number spoofing

WICHITA — Shady telemarketers would face a tougher time operating in Kansas under a new bill. Incoming Republican Rep. Bill Rhiley, of Wellington, says he pre-filed the bill after getting complaints about calls that appear to be from Kansas, but instead are automated sales pitches from ...

LGBTQ advocates see hope for nondiscrimination ordinances

KANSAS CITY, MO. — Advocates for LGBTQ Kansans say recent decisions by two Johnson County cities to pass anti-discrimination ordinances suggest support for such laws is growing and could spread beyond cities in northeast Kansas. Prairie Village and Mission city councils in December approved ...

Best-selling author to be master of ceremonies for Kelly’s inauguration

Award-winning author and journalist Sarah Smarsh will serve as the master of ceremonies for the inauguration of Gov.-elect Laura Kelly, the Kelly Rogers Inaugural 2019 Committee announced in a news release Friday. “I am overjoyed that Sarah Smarsh will play such an important role in the ...

New Kansas governor to replace DCF chief with KU director; grants put on hold

TOPEKA — Democratic Gov.-elect Laura Kelly announced Thursday that she will replace the top administrator at Kansas' troubled child welfare agency and successfully pushed the departing leader to put new, major grants to private contractors on hold. Kelly is a critic of the grants from the ...

Kansas judge rules telemedicine abortions can continue

Topeka — A judge ruled Monday that Kansas cannot stop telemedicine abortions, thwarting the latest attempt by state lawmakers to prevent doctors from providing pregnancy-ending pills to women they see by remote video conferences. District Judge Franklin Theis ruled that a law barring ...

Kansas judicial branch grants employees paid parental leave

TOPEKA — The Kansas court system's employees will now receive six weeks of paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child. The Kansas Supreme Court issued an administrative order Friday covering the 1,600 judicial branch workers under its supervision. The court's order came a month ...

Ex-Department of Revenue employee to fill Kansas House seat

TOPEKA — Democrats have picked a former Kansas Department of Revenue employee to fill a vacancy in the state House. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Democratic precinct committee members on Thursday chose Freda Warfield to replace Rep. Vic Miller of Topeka. Democrats appointed Miller ...

State takes over nursing home in central Kansas

PEABODY — Kansas officials are taking over a nursing home where inspectors found missing narcotics and more than $240,000 in bills that were more than four months overdue. Anonymous complaints prompted the state to send inspectors to Westview Manor of Peabody, a 45-bed facility in Marion ...

Foes of expanding Medicaid to lead Kansas health committees

TOPEKA — Health committees in the Kansas Legislature will be led by two conservative Republican lawmakers from Wichita who oppose expanding the state's Medicaid program. GOP leaders' appointments of Rep. Brenda Landwehr and Sen. Gene Suellentrop will complicate Democratic Gov.-elect Laura ...

Staff alleges violence, sex abuse at Kansas juvenile prison

Topeka — Allegations of violence between staff members and sexual relationships between workers and underage inmates at Kansas’ only juvenile corrections facility were uncovered during a state audit prompted by allegations that a former superintendent of the center assaulted an ...

Fewer women will hold seats in Kansas Legislature next year

Topeka — Fewer women won seats this election for the Kansas Legislature at a time when more women captured legislative seats nationwide. The Wichita Eagle reports Kansas had been above the national average in terms of the percentage of legislative seats held by women, but the state will fall ...

Kansas lawmakers consider lack of lobbyist waiting period

Topeka — Kansas is one of few states without a law prohibiting legislators from becoming lobbyists immediately after they leave office — an issue that was recently brought to attention when Rep. Lynn Jenkins began setting up a lobbying firm while still in Congress. Thirty-eight states have ...