State Government

Kansas Supreme Court upholds abortion rights in state constitution

Story updated at 3:27 p.m. Friday TOPEKA — Kansas' highest court declared for the first time Friday that the state constitution protects abortion rights, a sweeping ruling that blocks a ban on a common second trimester method for ending pregnancies and endangers other restrictions as ...

Kansas Supreme Court to rule on abortion rights protections

TOPEKA — The Kansas Supreme Court is preparing to rule on whether the state constitution protects abortion rights. The court announced that it would issue a decision Friday in a lawsuit filed by two abortion providers in 2015 against a Kansas law banning a common second-trimester ...

Data: Many drop out of Kansas domestic violence programs

TOPEKA — Roughly half of the participants in Kansas' certified intervention programs designed to break cycles of domestic violence dropped out last year, according to the state attorney general's office. The office found that 2,404 people participated in domestic violence intervention ...

Kansas governor, GOP leaders can’t break Medicaid stalemate

TOPEKA — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and top Republican legislators met Wednesday to try to break a stalemate on expanding Medicaid in Kansas, only to fail after she demanded that lawmakers approve a plan this year and the GOP leaders insisted on waiting until next year. Kelly set aside four ...

Kansas insurance commissioner earns KU pharmacy award

A statewide elected official earned the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy’s highest honor, the university announced on Wednesday. Vicki Schmidt, the Kansas insurance commissioner, was awarded the school’s Distinguished Service Award, which aims to honor individuals who have ...

Kansas shuts down name-and-shame site that caught only 1 child support evader

TOPEKA — A Kansas government website designed to nab child support evaders has been taken down after it caught only one man in a year. The Wichita Eagle reports that the Kansas Department for Children and Families spokesman Mike Deines says the Child Support Evaders website "had little to no ...

Kansas’ Democratic governor vetoes mandate on abortion ‘reversal’

TOPEKA — Kansas' new Democratic governor on Monday vetoed a measure that would require clinics and doctors to tell their patients about a disputed treatment to stop a medication abortion after a woman has taken the first of two pills. The action by Gov. Laura Kelly, an abortion-rights ...

Kansas to let Farm Bureau health coverage avoid ACA rules

TOPEKA — Kansas will allow its state Farm Bureau to offer health care coverage that doesn't satisfy the Affordable Care Act after Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on Friday declined to block a Republican-backed effort to circumvent former President Barack Obama's signature health care law. Kelly ...

Fiscal forecast gives Kansas a little room on Medicaid, tax relief

TOPEKA — Kansas officials issued a new fiscal forecast Thursday that's slightly more optimistic about how much tax revenue the state should expect to collect over the next two years, creating a little more breathing room for expanding Medicaid or providing tax relief. Democratic Gov. Laura ...

Governor won’t be allowed to file brief in Kansas school finance case

TOPEKA — The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that Gov. Laura Kelly cannot file a brief in support of a law that would add about $90 million annually to public school funding. The governor on Monday asked the court for permission to file the brief in support of a bill she signed April 5. The ...

Under new law, Kansas counties can allow voters to cast ballots at any polling site

Story updated 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, 2019: WICHITA — A new law gives Kansas counties the legal option of letting voters cast ballots at any polling site within their county, but spotty internet service and aging voting equipment is expected to curtail its availability in many places, ...

Kansas Gov. Kelly signs National Guard counseling bill

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly has signed a bill that protects the identities of Kansas National Guard members who undergo counseling. The legislation signed by the governor on Wednesday is designed to encourage service members to seek help if needed. It will exempt counseling-related notes and ...

Ballots rejected during 2018 Kansas primary came mostly from the same homes

TOPEKA — As an election supervisor and poll worker for more than 20 years, Robert Bailey routinely mailed in his ballot early, confident that voting problems elsewhere that he read about would have a slight chance of happening in his suburban Kansas City county. So when the 82-year-old ...

Governor signs bill to move Kansas toward hemp production

TOPEKA — Kansas will be taking steps toward allowing farmers to grow hemp for industrial use under a measure Gov. Laura Kelly signed into law Monday. The new law taking effect later this month replaces a state program only for researching hemp and its potential uses with a program for ...

Lawyers for Kansas defend new school funding law, citing broad support

TOPEKA — Lawyers for Kansas told the state Supreme Court on Monday that it should sign off on a new law boosting spending on public schools and end a protracted education funding lawsuit partly because the law has broad, bipartisan support. Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican, filed ...

Advocates frustrated with pace of Kansas foster care fixes

TOPEKA — Child welfare advocates in Kansas who spent more than a year examining the state’s troubled foster care system are frustrated with what they see as the Legislature’s lack of action on their recommendations for fixing the problems. Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly says she understands ...

Kansas lawmaker says U.S. Senate hopeful should be home with his kids

Topeka — A Kansas legislator is suggesting that the state treasurer should drop his bid for the U.S. Senate because he “needs to be at home, helping to raise his young children.” State Treasurer Jake LaTurner responded Friday that state Sen. Gene Suellentrop’s comments were ...

GOP leader seeks to stop Kansas governor from nominating new appeals judge

TOPEKA — The Kansas Senate's top Republican is trying to bar Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly from filling a vacancy on the state's second-highest court after Kelly was forced to withdraw her first choice because of political posts on his Twitter feed. Senate President Susan Wagle sent a letter ...

Kelly speaks out against ‘all-punitive’ prison system

Wichita (ap) — Gov. Laura Kelly says she wants to move the state’s prison system from “all-punitive to much more therapeutic.” The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Kelly made the comment Tuesday while speaking to more than 200 people at a Wichita school district administration ...