State Government

Kansas to let Farm Bureau health coverage avoid ACA rules

TOPEKA — Kansas will allow its state Farm Bureau to offer health care coverage that doesn't satisfy the Affordable Care Act after Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on Friday declined to block a Republican-backed effort to circumvent former President Barack Obama's signature health care law. Kelly ...

Fiscal forecast gives Kansas a little room on Medicaid, tax relief

TOPEKA — Kansas officials issued a new fiscal forecast Thursday that's slightly more optimistic about how much tax revenue the state should expect to collect over the next two years, creating a little more breathing room for expanding Medicaid or providing tax relief. Democratic Gov. Laura ...

Governor won’t be allowed to file brief in Kansas school finance case

TOPEKA — The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that Gov. Laura Kelly cannot file a brief in support of a law that would add about $90 million annually to public school funding. The governor on Monday asked the court for permission to file the brief in support of a bill she signed April 5. The ...

Under new law, Kansas counties can allow voters to cast ballots at any polling site

Story updated 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, 2019: WICHITA — A new law gives Kansas counties the legal option of letting voters cast ballots at any polling site within their county, but spotty internet service and aging voting equipment is expected to curtail its availability in many places, ...

Kansas Gov. Kelly signs National Guard counseling bill

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly has signed a bill that protects the identities of Kansas National Guard members who undergo counseling. The legislation signed by the governor on Wednesday is designed to encourage service members to seek help if needed. It will exempt counseling-related notes and ...

Ballots rejected during 2018 Kansas primary came mostly from the same homes

TOPEKA — As an election supervisor and poll worker for more than 20 years, Robert Bailey routinely mailed in his ballot early, confident that voting problems elsewhere that he read about would have a slight chance of happening in his suburban Kansas City county. So when the 82-year-old ...

Governor signs bill to move Kansas toward hemp production

TOPEKA — Kansas will be taking steps toward allowing farmers to grow hemp for industrial use under a measure Gov. Laura Kelly signed into law Monday. The new law taking effect later this month replaces a state program only for researching hemp and its potential uses with a program for ...

Lawyers for Kansas defend new school funding law, citing broad support

TOPEKA — Lawyers for Kansas told the state Supreme Court on Monday that it should sign off on a new law boosting spending on public schools and end a protracted education funding lawsuit partly because the law has broad, bipartisan support. Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican, filed ...

Advocates frustrated with pace of Kansas foster care fixes

TOPEKA — Child welfare advocates in Kansas who spent more than a year examining the state’s troubled foster care system are frustrated with what they see as the Legislature’s lack of action on their recommendations for fixing the problems. Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly says she understands ...

Kansas lawmaker says U.S. Senate hopeful should be home with his kids

Topeka — A Kansas legislator is suggesting that the state treasurer should drop his bid for the U.S. Senate because he “needs to be at home, helping to raise his young children.” State Treasurer Jake LaTurner responded Friday that state Sen. Gene Suellentrop’s comments were ...

GOP leader seeks to stop Kansas governor from nominating new appeals judge

TOPEKA — The Kansas Senate's top Republican is trying to bar Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly from filling a vacancy on the state's second-highest court after Kelly was forced to withdraw her first choice because of political posts on his Twitter feed. Senate President Susan Wagle sent a letter ...

Kelly speaks out against ‘all-punitive’ prison system

Wichita (ap) — Gov. Laura Kelly says she wants to move the state’s prison system from “all-punitive to much more therapeutic.” The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Kelly made the comment Tuesday while speaking to more than 200 people at a Wichita school district administration ...

1 in 4 Kansas public defenders quit last fiscal year

TOPEKA — A record 1 in 4 Kansas public defenders quit last fiscal year, with many blaming high caseloads and low salaries. Among them was Ruslan Ivanov, who told KCUR-FM that he typically juggled between 60 and 90 cases and sometimes worked seven days a week. On one trip to Colorado, he ...

Conservatives push Kris Kobach for Homeland Security secretary

Story updated at 11:11 a.m. Tuesday WASHINGTON — Outside allies of President Donald Trump have launched a public campaign urging him to nominate former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as his next secretary of Homeland Security. That's despite the uphill battle Kobach would certainly ...

Medicaid expansion fight delaying work on next Kansas budget

TOPEKA — A legislative fight over expanding Medicaid in Kansas is delaying approval of the state's next annual budget as expansion supporters try to keep Republican opponents from blocking it for another year. Some top GOP lawmakers are conceding that an expansion plan could pass because ...

Kelly signs school funding bill into law

Topeka — Gov. Laura Kelly has signed legislation to increase public school funding two days after Kansas lawmakers approved the plan. Kelly, a Democrat, signed the bill at a ceremony Saturday, saying she was following through on a campaign promise to be the state’s “education governor” ...

Kansas lawmakers allow veto of tax relief bill to stand

Topeka — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of a Republican tax relief bill will stand because GOP lawmakers did not attempt to override it. The Republican-controlled Legislature adjourned Friday for its annual spring break without an override attempt. The deadline for trying to override ...

Democrats in Kansas Senate seek debate on Medicaid expansion

Topeka — The Kansas Senate’s top Democrat is trying to force the chamber to debate Medicaid expansion. Minority Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka notified the Senate on Friday that he will try to pull a Medicaid expansion bill out of committee. Hensley made the move just before lawmakers ...

Kansas lawmakers approve bill mandating notice on abortion ‘reversals’

Topeka — Kansas legislators passed a measure Friday that would require abortion providers to tell patients who are taking medication to terminate their pregnancies that the process can be reversed after they take the first of two pills. Abortion opponents contend the bill ensures that women ...