State and Region

Judge awards $1M to veteran in Kansas VA hospital abuse case

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge has awarded more than $1 million in damages to another veteran who says he was sexually abused by a former physician assistant at a VA hospital in Kansas. It’s the third time since November that U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree has ruled against ...

Kansas lawmakers moving quickly on COVID-19 legislation

Story updated at 12:48 p.m. Monday TOPEKA (AP) — Kansas lawmakers have been moving quickly on legislation that would extend the state's COVID-19 emergency declaration before it expires on Jan. 26. “I’ve not seen, and I don’t think we’ve seen before, a bill that moved with such ...

COVID-19 fuels quick push for Kansas anti-abortion amendment

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Abortion opponents are moving with unusual speed to put a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution on the ballot, fearing a COVID-19 outbreak could thwart them if they delay action even for a few weeks. The proposed amendment would overturn a Kansas ...

Some Kansas legislators continue to be mask-averse at official, social gatherings

TOPEKA — Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop doesn’t prefer to wear a mask in the Capitol as the COVID-19 pandemic rages outside the confines of the limited-access building. The Wichita Republican takes what might be considered a diplomatic approach to admonitions from public health ...

Kansas legislators review proposed anti-abortion amendment

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Abortion opponents and abortion rights supporters on Friday previewed arguments they'll make to voters if lawmakers put a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution on the ballot. House and Senate committees heard testimony on a proposal to overturn a ...

Kansas on track to pay out extra unemployment benefit

Story updated at 1:45 p.m. Friday TOPEKA (AP) — Kansas is on track to pay out an extra $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit as part of a coronavirus rescue aid package enacted late last month, a top Department of Labor official said. Ryan Wright, who stepped down as acting secretary of ...

Kansas Senate votes to extend COVID-19 emergency, limit Kelly

TOPEKA (AP) — The Republican-led state Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would extend Kansas' state of emergency while limiting Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s power to direct the pandemic response, as workers sought to speed up the pace of coronavirus vaccinations. A law enacted in ...

Kansas governor limits access to Statehouse ahead of expected protests

TOPEKA (AP) — Gov. Laura Kelly is restricting access to the Kansas Statehouse due to the possibility of an armed protest, telling state lawmakers Thursday that an event is planned for Sunday with "other potential gatherings" next week. The Democratic governor's chief of staff, Will Lawrence, ...

Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, February 2014.

Kansas legislators move quickly on local tax transparency law

TOPEKA — Kansas legislators moved quickly Thursday to try a different approach in seeking to limit city and county taxes after Gov. Laura Kelly and a key group signaled that they're not as opposed to the concept as they once were. The Senate voted 34-1 for a proposed transparency law that ...

Kansas legislators weigh security risk as police gear up for threat of violence

TOPEKA — A little insurrection goes a long ways. Kansas legislators and Capitol Police are bracing for the potential of violence in the days leading up to and including Wednesday’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. There are no specific threats to sack the Kansas Statehouse, but ...

GOP legislator frustrated after Kansas health department opts out of hearings

TOPEKA — A Republican legislator voiced frustration with the state health department for ditching a planned presentation to the Senate health committee amid distrust with the governor’s COVID-19 vaccination strategy. A representative for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment was ...

Republicans in Kansas House seek healing through day of prayer, fasting, humiliation

TOPEKA — Four Republicans in the Kansas House backed a resolution Wednesday to declare Sept. 24 a day of prayer, fasting and public humiliation in Kansas. The resolution, introduced by Wellington Republican Rep. Bill Rhiley, asks for God “to heal our land of calamities, division, anger and ...

Kansas COVID-19 hospitalizations fall from last month’s peak

TOPEKA (AP) — Coronavirus hospitalizations have fallen in Kansas from their high last month and staffing is under less strain as the shaky vaccine rollout gains momentum, although overall case numbers remain stubbornly high. Kansas Department of Health and Environment data shows that 889 ...

Kansas governor’s budget includes proposals GOP has rejected

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly outlined a proposed annual budget Wednesday that includes a tax increase and two other major initiatives likely to be rejected by the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature. Kelly's $20.9 billion spending plan for the budget year that begins ...

U.S. executes Kansas woman, 1st female inmate put to death since 1953

This story was updated at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A Kansas woman was executed Wednesday for strangling an expectant mother in Missouri and cutting the baby from her womb, the first time in nearly seven decades that the U.S. government has put to death a female ...

‘He is a danger to women’: Kansas House Democrats move to oust member

TOPEKA (AP) — Kansas House Democrats started the process Tuesday to oust a newly elected lawmaker over multiple issues that include the 20-year-old’s rhetoric on Twitter and allegations of harassing and threatening girls and young women. A formal compliant filed in the House about State ...

Kansas Republicans target 2022 primary for abortion amendment

TOPEKA — Republicans bolstered by conservative gains in the Legislature plan to place a constitutional amendment on abortion before voters on the 2022 primary ballot. The controversial decision to delay a popular vote on the measure could jeopardize progress in the Legislature, where the ...