State Government

Kansas Democrats voting by mail only in presidential primary

Updated at 3:40 p.m. Monday TOPEKA — Kansas Democrats have scrapped plans for polling sites for their May 2 presidential primary and are having the election entirely with mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic. State Chairwoman Vicki Hiatt said Monday that polling sites are ...

Top state lawmakers allow Kelly’s stay-at-home order to stand

Updated at 7:25 p.m. Sunday TOPEKA — Leaders of the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature agreed Sunday that Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s statewide stay-at-home order is necessary to help check the spread of the new coronavirus, allowing it to take effect Monday as planned. It helped ...

Kansas governor issues statewide stay-at-home order

Story updated at 5:09 p.m. Saturday TOPEKA — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued a statewide order Saturday requiring people to stay in their homes to slow the spread of the coronavirus, waiting until nearly three-quarters of the state's residents were already facing such directives. Kansas ...

Kansas coronavirus death toll grows to 4, with more than 200 cases

Story updated at 8:11 p.m. Friday TOPEKA — Kansas health officials reported more than 200 confirmed coronavirus cases and a fourth death Friday, and the state's health director said he doesn't expect the spread of the virus to peak until mid- to late April. All four of the state's deaths ...

Douglas County crisis center receives $750K in state budget

The future Douglas County crisis center has the necessary funding for planning and construction costs. State lawmakers approved the county’s request for $750,000 to finish the center as part of the state budget for fiscal years 2020 and 2021, which Gov. Laura Kelly signed into law ...

Kansas officials brace for slump in state tax collections because of pandemic

Topeka — Kansas officials are bracing for a slump in state tax collections as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ripple through the state’s economy. Gov. Laura Kelly said in an interview that economic fallout is likely “hitting already” for state tax collections. She also has ...

Kansas sees 1,250% increase in initial unemployment claims

Topeka — The number of jobless workers in Kansas who filed initial unemployment claims last week was 12 times as high as it was the week before as measures to control the spread of the new coronavirus took their toll on the economy. The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that Kansas ...

Kansas officials express frustration amid coronavirus surge

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly and the state's top health official are expressing growing frustration as Kansas grapples with an continuing increase in coronavirus cases. Kelly, a Democrat, on Wednesday said President Donald Trump's suggestion that restrictions on people's movements could be ...

Research departments across KU donate supplies to test for COVID-19

As states around the country continue to struggle obtaining adequate supplies to test for the coronavirus, researchers at the University of Kansas stepped in to help fill the void in the Sunflower State after a request from Gov. Laura Kelly. Kelly’s office requested lab kits to help process ...

Kansas residents hunker down amid virus’ economic fallout

Story updated at 3:47 p.m. Tuesday WICHITA — Aircraft parts maker Spirit Aerosystems temporarily suspended production work for Boeing at its Wichita facility on Tuesday amid the coronavirus outbreak that has been sending shock waves through the economy and has more than half of Kansas ...

Kansas gets stricter on gatherings; 1M people told to stay home

Story updated at 6:46 p.m. Monday TOPEKA — Shelter-in-place orders are about to take effect for about a third of Kansas' population to slow the spread of coronavirus, and Gov. Laura Kelly announced Monday that she will tighten restrictions on public gatherings. Five counties with about 1 ...

Kansas Statehouse in Topeka

Nearly all Lawrence legislators have filed for 2020 reelection

Well ahead of the June 1 filing deadline for the 2020 election, most Lawrence legislators have filed for another term in their posts. Rep. Mike Amyx, D-Lawrence, Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, and Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, all filed their reelection paperwork Friday, according to ...

In Kansas case, U.S. Supreme Court rules states can bar insanity defense

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states can prevent criminal defendants from pleading insanity without violating their constitutional rights. The decision could prompt states across the country to toughen standards for defendants who wish to plead not guilty by reason of ...

Pandemic spurs some Kansas lawmakers to rethink governor’s power

Topeka — Some Kansas legislators say they didn’t understand how much power the governor has in emergencies until Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly closed K-12 schools for the rest of the semester and ordered a six-week halt to new evictions and mortgage foreclosures amid the coronavirus ...