State Government

Kansas governor plans to merge social services agencies

Story updated at 6:11 p.m. Wednesday TOPEKA — Kansas' governor plans to merge a state agency that has been under fire in recent years over abused children's deaths with another social services department in the hopes that the state will focus more on preventing problems within potentially ...

Kansas Supreme Court plans to swear in new justice Jan. 24

TOPEKA — The Kansas Supreme Court plans to swear in a new justice Jan. 24. Evelyn Wilson is set to take her seat on the seven-member high court a little more than a month after Gov. Laura Kelly announced Wilson's appointment. The court is planning to convene a special session at 2 p.m. in ...

With Pompeo out, GOP can’t dodge headache in Kansas Senate race

TOPEKA — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s declaration Tuesday that he won’t run for Senate in Kansas returned some Republicans to worrying that they can’t block a polarizing conservative from winning the GOP nomination and putting the seat in play. Pompeo’s decision to remain as the ...

Escalating protests cloud fight over Kansas Statehouse rules

TOPEKA — The rise of protests at the Statehouse has exposed a complex landscape where rules diverge from one floor to the next and sanctions are inconsistently applied by law enforcement. Republican leaders in the Legislature, the Democratic governor’s administration and Capitol Police ...

Kansas Gov. Kelly turns to pensions for budget breathing room

TOPEKA — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly proposed Monday that Kansas give itself more breathing room in its budget by slashing annual payments to its pension system for teachers and government workers, offering a new version of a plan that the Republican-controlled Legislature spiked last ...

Pompeo says he’ll stay at State, forgoing Kansas Senate run

Story updated at 11:05 a.m. Tuesday WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that he'll remain in his post as the country's top diplomat, forgoing a run for Senate from Kansas that many Republicans have seen as the party's best hope of retaining what should be a guaranteed ...

Kansas Court of Appeals judge announces retirement

TOPEKA — The longest serving judge on the Kansas Court of Appeals announced on Monday that he will retire on April 3. Judge G. Joseph Pierron Jr., 72, has written 392 published opinions and heard thousands of appeals since he joined the state's second highest court in December 1990, the ...

Topeka mayor kicks off Democratic campaign for Kansas 2nd District seat

TOPEKA — The Democratic mayor of Topeka has kicked off a campaign to challenge freshman Republican Rep. Steve Watkins. Michelle De La Isla told The Topeka Capital-Journal that she would concentrate on access to health care, job creation and infrastructure in advance of her formal ...

Attorney general: Kansas criminal justice reform hinges on treatment funding

TOPEKA — Kansas' top law enforcement official says boosting spending on services for the mentally ill and treating substance abuse is crucial to reforming the state's criminal justice system. Attorney General Derek Schmidt contends extra funding for such services, particularly in rural ...

December health code inspections: 17 found out of compliance in Douglas County

Seventeen organizations in Douglas County failed state health code inspections in December. Each month, I take a look at inspection results and list every place either listed out of compliance or with 10 or more code violations. Full reports are available online at agriculture.ks.gov. There, ...

Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, February 2014.

GOP lawmakers in Kansas, Oklahoma seek anti-red flag laws on guns

TOPEKA — Republicans in two Midwestern states where GOP-controlled legislatures have gun-rights majorities are proposing measures aimed at preventing the U.S. government or other states from taking guns away from residents whom the courts deem a danger to themselves. Neither Oklahoma nor ...

Sen. Tom Holland revs up in advance of 2020 session

Nine years ago, Sen. Tom Holland purchased a 100th anniversary 2003 Softail Standard Harley-Davidson. It wasn’t a mid-life crisis purchase, the 58-year-old Democrat said. “It was a post-campaign crisis.” “I bought it right after Sam Brownback kicked my butt when I ran against him for ...

Kansas expanding program for avoiding lines at DMV offices, including Lawrence site

TOPEKA — Kansas is allowing some residents seeking to get or renew a driver's license to schedule appointments so that they can avoid a tedious wait in line. The Division of Vehicles in the Kansas Department of Revenue recently expanded the program to an additional nine offices in populous ...

Kansas officials want charity regulation under a single office

TOPEKA — The Kansas officials whose offices register charities and enforce anti-fraud laws separately want the Legislature to give both duties to one agency. Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Secretary of State Scott Schwab are jointly proposing to have the Consumer Protection Division in ...