State Government

Kansas fight shows how election ‘reforms’ may favor one side

TOPEKA — Charley Crabtree was looking to help voters in nursing homes get absentee ballots delivered on time last year, so he picked up about 75 from at least 10 locations in his hometown of Lawrence. Republicans who control the Kansas Legislature want to make what he did a crime punishable ...

Push for ‘school choice’ measure falters in Kansas Senate

Topeka — A split among Republicans on Friday blocked a proposal from conservative Kansas lawmakers to allow parents of academically struggling students to pay for private schooling with state dollars normally earmarked for public schools. A bill that ties public school funding to the ...

Republicans oust powerful Kansas lawmaker charged with DUI from his leadership position

Updated at 8:08 p.m. Friday: TOPEKA — Republicans on Friday ousted a powerful Kansas lawmaker charged with drunken driving from his leadership job following the release of a document saying he taunted the Highway Patrol trooper who arrested him and called the officer “donut boy.” Senate ...

Approval of Kansas bill on trans athletes isn’t veto-proof

Updated at 8:45 p.m. Friday. TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas conservatives on Friday pushed a proposed ban on transgender athletes in girl's and women's school sports through the Republican-controlled Legislature but don't have enough support yet to overcome a possible veto by the state's ...

Affidavit: Kansas Senate majority leader’s blood alcohol was twice the legal limit

LIBERTY, Mo. — A powerful Kansas lawmaker accused of drunken driving had a blood alcohol level that was twice the legal limit and taunted the Highway Patrol officer who arrested him last month for allegedly speeding the wrong way on an interstate, according to documents released ...

Bill to drop concealed carry age to 18 clears Kansas Legislature

Story updated at 10:20 p.m. Thursday: TOPEKA — A proposal to lower the legal age in Kansas to carry concealed firearms from 21 to 18 won final approval Thursday in the Legislature. The Republican-controlled Senate approved the bill, 30-8, and the GOP-controlled House passed it hours ...

Kansas lawmakers likely to pass ban on transgender athletes

TOPEKA — LGBTQ-rights advocates in Kansas are relying on the state's Democratic governor or the courts to block a ban on transgender athletes in girls' or women's school sports after conservatives on Thursday moved to push it through the GOP-controlled Legislature. Republican negotiators for ...

Gov. Kelly has ‘no interest’ in COVID-19 vaccine passports

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly said Monday that she has no plans to have Kansas issue vaccine passports, which are designed to help inoculated residents travel, shop and dine out more freely. The Democratic governor also signed into law a largely symbolic measure approved by the ...

Governor’s aide: Civics bill violates Kansas Constitution

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A spokesperson for Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly says a Republican proposal to require graduating Kansas high school students to have passed a civics test violates the state constitution. Kelly spokesperson Reeves Oyster stopped short Friday of saying Kelly would veto a ...

Kansas sports betting push stalls; odds of passage uncertain

TOPEKA — An effort to legalize sports betting in Kansas has stalled, and it's not clear that state lawmakers can agree on how many places should offer wagering while also navigating other gambling issues clouding the debate. Some sports betting supporters believe they still have time before ...

GOP legislators disagree over Kansas unemployment upgrades

TOPEKA — Republican legislators don't yet agree on how much time to give the Kansas Department of Labor to upgrade aged technology for an unemployment system that for months has been plagued by problems and the frequent target of scammers. The House and the Senate have approved legislation ...

Kansas lawmakers topple governor’s newly issued mask order

Updated at 3:30 p.m. Thursday TOPEKA — Top Kansas legislators on Thursday revoked an order aimed at encouraging counties to keep mask mandates amid the coronavirus pandemic, just hours after Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly issued it. Kelly's order required people to wear masks indoors at ...

Kansas Senate OKs bill mandating civics test for students

Updated at 3:56 p.m. Thursday TOPEKA — The Kansas Senate has passed a Republican-backed bill that would require graduating high school students to have passed a civics test with questions such as, "What is one way Americans can serve their country?" The GOP-controlled Senate on Wednesday ...

Republicans in Kansas Senate come out against mask policy

TOPEKA — Republicans in the Kansas Senate made a point Wednesday of publicly opposing Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's plan for encouraging counties to retain COVID-19 mask mandates. The Senate voted 29-11 along party lines for a resolution urging legislative leaders to revoke any order issued ...

GOP lawmakers advance proposal to tighten Kansas voting laws

TOPEKA — Republican lawmakers in Kansas are joining GOP colleagues nationwide in trying to tighten voting laws, advancing a measure Wednesday that would make it harder for churches, civic groups, neighbors and candidates to collect and return absentee ballots for voters. The state Senate ...

Kansas GOP says pandemic justifies special tracing rules for protecting privacy

TOPEKA — Republican lawmakers argue that a pandemic justifies special rules in Kansas for protecting the privacy of people exposed to COVID-19 and on Wednesday advanced a proposal to preserve those rules over public health groups' objections. The Senate approved, 26-14, a bill that would ...