State Government

Vocal Trump ally Kobach opens launches bid for Kansas AG

Updated at 5:16 p.m. Thursday Topeka — Polarizing conservative Kris Kobach launched a campaign Thursday for Kansas attorney general, attempting a political comeback in 2022 after losing nationally watched races for governor and U.S. Senate. Kobach, a former Kansas secretary of state, ...

Kansas GOP senators denounce proposed 2.5% pay raise for state employees

TOPEKA — Republicans on the Kansas Senate’s budget committee attacked Gov. Laura Kelly’s plan to allocate $52 million to raises of 2.5% for state executive, legislative and judicial branch workers and to appropriate $10 million to state universities that could be used to bolster employee ...

Gov. Kelly signs budget bill after eliminating 18 provisions with line-item vetoes

TOPEKA — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly exercised authority Monday to line-item veto 18 elements of a budget bill before signing the remainder allocating new funding for newborn screenings, mental health prevention and crisis services, and programs for people with intellectual disabilities and ...

Gov. Kelly signs bill to modernize unemployment system

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly has signed a bipartisan bill to give the GOP-controlled Kansas Legislature more oversight of the modernization of the state's troubled unemployment system. The bill Kelly signed on Monday will require the Kansas Department of Labor to complete computer upgrades by ...

Gov. Kelly vetoes GOP-inspired voting, firearm and flag bills

TOPEKA — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed two bundles of election reform measures Friday that would have restricted advance voting, eliminated emergency powers to alter voting procedures, added a new crime for turning in others’ ballots, and strengthened penalties for existing election ...

Gov. Kelly vetoes bill to lower legal age for carrying a concealed weapon

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed a bill Friday that would have lowered the legal age for carrying concealed weapons. The legal age is 21, but the majority-Republican Legislature wants to allow permits once people turn 18. Kelly, a Democrat, described herself as a “longtime supporter of Second ...

Gov. Kelly vetoes GOP-backed bills on civics tests and gun-safety courses

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed two Republican-backed education bills on Thursday, including one that would have required high school students to pass a civics test to graduate and another that would have allowed districts to incorporate gun-safety courses into their curriculums. The ...

Kansas governor vetoes ban for transgender school athletes

TOPEKA — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on Thursday vetoed a Republican measure that would have made Kansas the latest state with a GOP-controlled legislature to ban transgender athletes from girls' and women's school sports. Kelly's action was widely expected because she had labeled the bill ...

Former Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer launches election bid; GOP rivals test key themes

TOPEKA — Former Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer on Monday formally launched his campaign to reclaim the office in 2022, portraying himself as the true conservative in the Republican primary as his main GOP rival questioned his electability. Colyer and Attorney General Derek Schmidt highlighted key ...

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 ...