State Government

New Kansas governor’s budget repairs may fire GOP opposition

Topeka — Kansas’ incoming Democratic governor uses words like “decimated” to describe what’s happened to state government over the past decade and will be looking to add staff, boost spending and rethink contracts that outsourced jobs to private companies. Yet the same electorate ...

Wichita-area couple want Kansas to become leader in soon-to-be legal hemp production

Rick and Stacy Gash, an entrepreneurial couple in the Wichita area, want to help make Kansas a leading state in the production of hemp, a newly legalized crop. Hemp, a cannabis-plant cousin to marijuana, was once a major commercial crop in the United States, used mainly for making fabric and ...

State of Kansas trying to unload $10M in computer equipment

Topeka — Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer’s administration is seeking a way to donate or sell at a steep discount as much as $10 million in unused computer equipment that has been stored in a state office building since 2016. The state still owes $2 million on the equipment, which it bought in 2016 ...

Credits for Westar customers mean dramatically lower electric bills

Lawrence residents may notice significantly lower electric bills this month. As part of an agreement approved by the Kansas Corporation Commission last summer, utility customers will begin seeing credits on their bills that reflect savings that Westar Energy will realize as a result of ...

Gov.-elect Kelly, Koch Industries agree on Kansas prison reform need

Story updated at 1:18 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, 2018: Topeka — Incoming Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and Wichita-based Koch Industries agree that the state’s prison system needs reform in response to an increasing inmate population. Kelly has said in recent public comments that she wants the ...

4th Kansas Republican lawmaker announces switch to Democratic Party

Updated 11:30 a.m. Wednesday TOPEKA — Two moderate Kansas Republican legislators switched to the Democratic Party on Wednesday, joining two other suburban Kansas City lawmakers who made the switch last week. State Sen. Dinah Sykes, of Lenexa, and state Rep. Stephanie Clayton, of Overland ...

Kansas lawmakers could face debate over earthquake damage payments

Story updated at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18: Wichita — Kansas lawmakers are likely to face renewed debate in the next legislative session about how or whether to hold oil and gas companies accountable for property damage caused by earthquakes in Kansas. Earthquakes have increased in ...

Kansas GOP picks top Kobach deputy for Senate seat

Topeka — Republicans have picked Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s top deputy to fill a vacant state Senate seat, making the chamber more conservative. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rucker will replace Insurance Commissioner-elect Vicki ...

Outgoing Kansas lawmaker switching from GOP to Democratic Party

TOPEKA — Another Kansas lawmaker is switching from the Republican to the Democratic party. Outgoing Rep. Joy Koesten, of Leawood, announced Thursday that she's changing her party affiliation. Koesten wrote that she "just can't stomach trying to 'fit in' any more to a party that grieves me so ...

Kelly believes Kansas voters would reject school funding amendment

TOPEKA — Incoming Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said she doesn't see much chance of a state constitutional amendment to limit court rulings on school funding being approved in Kansas. Republican lawmakers don't have enough votes to pass an amendment in the Legislature and, even if they ...

Gov.-elect Kelly lowers inaugural costs after ethics commission reverses itself

TOPEKA — Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly's inaugural committee on Wednesday slashed the prices of premium seating for her inaugural ball after facing questions about 10-person packages it was offering for $10,000, which is five times the legal limit for contributions. The Associated Press ...

Kansas lawmaker disciplined by Republican leader becomes Democrat

TOPEKA — A Kansas lawmaker who was stripped of a committee leadership post after endorsing Democratic Gov.-elect Laura Kelly's campaign has switched to the Democratic Party. State Sen. Barbara Bollier of Mission Hills said Wednesday that the Republican Party no longer represents her values. ...

Kansas governor-elect sells inauguration tables for $10K

Updated story - Gov.-elect Kelly lowers inaugural costs after ethics commission reverses itself TOPEKA — Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly is selling premium tables of 10 people each at her inaugural ball in January for $10,000, five times what the law says is the contribution limit. The new ...

U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear Kansas’ appeal in Planned Parenthood case

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday avoided a high-profile case by rejecting appeals from Kansas and Louisiana in their effort to strip Medicaid money from Planned Parenthood, over the dissenting votes of three justices. The court's order reflected a split among its conservative ...

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 ...