State Government

Kansas lawmakers advance judge nominations to full Senate

TOPEKA (AP) — Gov. Laura Kelly's nominee for a spot on Kansas' second-highest court said Thursday his experience as a public defender would bring real value to an appellate court that is now filled with former civil litigators, former prosecutors and former district judges. Carl Folsom III, ...

Timing is key issue with statewide vote on Kansas anti-abortion amendment

TOPEKA (AP) — Republican lawmakers advancing a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the Kansas Constitution insisted Thursday that it should go on the state's August 2022 primary ballot, prompting criticism that they fear failure if the statewide vote is held in a different election. The ...

Brownback closes book on ambassadorship of international religious freedom

TOPEKA — Former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s service as U.S. ambassador at large of international religious freedom ends Wednesday with close to the administration of President Donald Trump. Brownback departs the State Department along with another Kansan, Mike Pompeo, who has been the ...

Republicans question Kansas health secretary over rollout of COVID-19 vaccines

TOPEKA — Republican lawmakers seized the opportunity Tuesday to direct frustrations at Kansas health secretary Lee Norman over his agency’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and failures to clarify when and where Kansans can go to get inoculated. In a joint hearing before Senate and House ...

Nurses in Kansas county refuse to give COVID-19 vaccine

TOPEKA (AP) — Four nurses at a rural health department in Kansas are refusing to administer any COVID-19 vaccines, citing the fast development and production of the shots. Coffey County Public Health Administrator Lindsay Payer said the nurses made their own decisions and expressed their ...

Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, February 2014.

Kansas anti-abortion amendment clears first legislative hurdle

TOPEKA (AP) — A proposed anti-abortion amendment to the Kansas Constitution cleared its first hurdle in the Legislature on Tuesday as abortion opponents moved quickly to try to get it on the ballot. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the measure on a voice vote, sending it to the full ...

Security concerns close Kansas offices, curtail legislative meetings

Story updated at 12:47 p.m. Tuesday TOPEKA (AP) — State office buildings near the Statehouse have been closed to the public and the Legislature has curtailed its meetings due to security concerns ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration in Washington, D.C. The closures came in ...

Kansas lawmakers moving quickly on COVID-19 legislation

Story updated at 12:48 p.m. Monday TOPEKA (AP) — Kansas lawmakers have been moving quickly on legislation that would extend the state's COVID-19 emergency declaration before it expires on Jan. 26. “I’ve not seen, and I don’t think we’ve seen before, a bill that moved with such ...

COVID-19 fuels quick push for Kansas anti-abortion amendment

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Abortion opponents are moving with unusual speed to put a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution on the ballot, fearing a COVID-19 outbreak could thwart them if they delay action even for a few weeks. The proposed amendment would overturn a Kansas ...

Some Kansas legislators continue to be mask-averse at official, social gatherings

TOPEKA — Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop doesn’t prefer to wear a mask in the Capitol as the COVID-19 pandemic rages outside the confines of the limited-access building. The Wichita Republican takes what might be considered a diplomatic approach to admonitions from public health ...

Kansas legislators review proposed anti-abortion amendment

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Abortion opponents and abortion rights supporters on Friday previewed arguments they'll make to voters if lawmakers put a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution on the ballot. House and Senate committees heard testimony on a proposal to overturn a ...

Kansas on track to pay out extra unemployment benefit

Story updated at 1:45 p.m. Friday TOPEKA (AP) — Kansas is on track to pay out an extra $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit as part of a coronavirus rescue aid package enacted late last month, a top Department of Labor official said. Ryan Wright, who stepped down as acting secretary of ...

Kansas Senate votes to extend COVID-19 emergency, limit Kelly

TOPEKA (AP) — The Republican-led state Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would extend Kansas' state of emergency while limiting Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s power to direct the pandemic response, as workers sought to speed up the pace of coronavirus vaccinations. A law enacted in ...

Kansas governor limits access to Statehouse ahead of expected protests

TOPEKA (AP) — Gov. Laura Kelly is restricting access to the Kansas Statehouse due to the possibility of an armed protest, telling state lawmakers Thursday that an event is planned for Sunday with "other potential gatherings" next week. The Democratic governor's chief of staff, Will Lawrence, ...

Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, February 2014.

Kansas legislators move quickly on local tax transparency law

TOPEKA — Kansas legislators moved quickly Thursday to try a different approach in seeking to limit city and county taxes after Gov. Laura Kelly and a key group signaled that they're not as opposed to the concept as they once were. The Senate voted 34-1 for a proposed transparency law that ...

Kansas legislators weigh security risk as police gear up for threat of violence

TOPEKA — A little insurrection goes a long ways. Kansas legislators and Capitol Police are bracing for the potential of violence in the days leading up to and including Wednesday’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. There are no specific threats to sack the Kansas Statehouse, but ...