State Government

Kansas tax reform bill’s ramifications grow; cost more than doubles after amendments

TOPEKA — The Kansas Senate fought through a flurry of tricky procedural amendments Tuesday to more than double the financial ramifications of a bill throwing tax breaks at multinational corporations sitting on overseas profits, wealthy people keen to itemize deductions, folks excited about ...

Governor, Democrats call for higher standard deduction on Kansas income taxes

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly and Democratic legislative leaders urged the Kansas Senate to include in a mammoth tax-cut bill Tuesday a two-year expansion of the standard deduction on state income taxes. The proposal was outlined in advance of debate on the Senate floor on Senate Bill 22 ...

GOP leaders: Kansas’ virus emergency might end March 31

TOPEKA — Two top Republican lawmakers said Monday that Kansas might not need to keep its state of emergency for COVID-19 in place past the end of March, signaling possible internal GOP divisions about keeping the pandemic restrictions further into the spring. The comments from Senate ...

Kansas lawmaker facing reprimand from colleagues re-registers as Democrat

TOPEKA (AP) — A freshman Kansas House member who's due to get a public warning from colleagues about his behavior before he took office has rejoined the Democratic Party. Rep. Aaron Coleman of Kansas City, Kansas, confirmed Monday that he returned to the party last week, about three weeks ...

Kansas House panel puts on lengthy, one-sided hearing against remote learning

TOPEKA — In a one-sided, two-and-a-half-hour “informational hearing” Wednesday, a parade of upset parents, children, outspoken doctors and lobbyists vented to Kansas legislators in the House K-12 Budget Committee their frustrations with the shortcomings of remote and hybrid ...

Advocates argue suspension of speedy trials will disenfranchise Kansans

TOPEKA — Opponents of a proposal to delay or eliminate Kansans’ right to a speedy trial say if passed, the measure would be an affront to the constitution and open the door for litigation and unnecessary expenses for the state. Amid the pandemic, jury trials have all but ceased across the ...

Kansas governor and her husband victims of fraudulent unemployment claims

TOPEKA — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said Friday that both she and her husband had fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits filed in their names with the state. The Democratic governor's disclosure to reporters came amid an increasingly intense focus by the Republican-controlled Legislature ...

Kansas to give COVID-19 shots to inmates despite GOP protest resolution

Story updated at 6:34 p.m. Friday TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s administration plans to begin giving COVID-19 vaccinations to Kansas prison inmates next week, ignoring a call from the Republican-controlled Legislature to postpone their inoculations so that others can ...

Officials: Coronavirus variant, already found once in Kansas, is likely more common

TOPEKA (AP) — A faster-spreading coronavirus variant first identified in the United Kingdom is probably more widespread in Kansas than a single confirmed case in the state's northwest suggests, officials with a major health system said Thursday. The first identified case of the variant came ...

Kansas Statehouse in Topeka

$85 million in pandemic relief funding slated for Kansas infrastructure

NEWTON — Kansas plans to invest the nearly $85 million the state received in federal coronavirus relief funding for infrastructure programs and services in every county, leaving no part of the state behind, Gov. Laura Kelly said Thursday. The governor was joined by Transportation Secretary ...

Kansas trails the national average in preparing for the move to electric cars

The electrification of cars and small trucks is on the horizon, but the state of Kansas is doing the bare minimum to be prepared. A new state scorecard from the advocacy group the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranks the state 29th, with a score of 15.5 out of 100. Only five ...

Former governors endorse Kelly’s revamp of Kansas economic development strategy

TOPEKA — Former Govs. Mike Hayden and John Carlin threw their legacy of political insight Thursday behind the Kelly administration’s statewide economic development strategy — Kansas’ first fresh take on comprehensive expansion of job opportunities in more than 30 years. Carlin was ...

Four Kansas Republicans introduce plan to criminalize services for transgender kids

TOPEKA — Rep. Stephanie Byers castigated four Republican representatives Wednesday for introducing legislation that would put physicians in prison for providing services to transgender children. Byers, a Democrat from Wichita and the state’s first openly transgender legislator, said House ...

Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, February 2014.

Kansas lawmakers push civics test for high school graduation

TOPEKA (AP) — A Kansas lawmaker and the state's Republican attorney general are pushing a bill to require high school students to pass a civics test to graduate in an effort to increase civic engagement. The proposal is facing pushback from members of the state's largest teacher's union, the ...

Kansas labor department’s fraud fixes do little to mollify GOP lawmakers

TOPEKA (AP) — Assurances from labor officials that new security protocols are blocking thousands of fraudulent attempts every hour to access Kansas' unemployment benefits system did little Wednesday to dispel the concerns of Republican lawmakers who fear the state is losing millions of ...