Stephen Koranda

Statehouse Reporter, Kansas News Service

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Radio covering health, education and politics.

Ways to Connect

TOPEKA, Kansas — Republicans trying to push through a ban on transgender athletes in girls’ and women’s sports fell short Monday of overriding Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of the bill.

Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach kicked off a race for state attorney general Thursday, aiming his hardline immigration and voting policy politics at the state's top legal and law enforcement office.

Kobach called the office a last line of defense against policies pushed by President Biden and Democratic leaders in Congress. He raised concerns about limiting gun rights, the federal government setting election laws and immigration policy.

WICHITA, Kansas Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach kicked off a race for state attorney general Thursday, aiming his hardline immigration and voting policy politics at the state’s top legal and law enforcement office.

Kobach called the office a last line of defense against policies pushed by President Joe Biden and Democratic leaders in Congress. Kobach raised concerns about limiting gun rights, the federal government setting election laws and immigration policy.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansas lawmakers return to the Statehouse next week for a showdown with Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly over issues at the heart of both culture wars and taxes.

While legislators took a break, Kelly vetoed a range of high-profile bills. Now the conservative Republicans who control the Legislature face the challenge of overrides with slim margins to pull that off.

Republican Senate President Ty Masterson blasted the governor for striking down bills ranging from tax cuts to restrictions on transgender athletes.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Arguing a ban on transgender athletes in girls’ and women’s sports invites bullying, Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed a bill that mirrored Republican efforts across the country that would have states policing high school and college sports.

“We should be focused on how to include all students in extracurricular activities rather than how to exclude those who may be different than us,” the governor’s office said in a statement. “Kansas is an inclusive state and our laws should reflect our values. This (bill) does not do that.”

WICHITA, Kansas —Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly is signaling she’ll likely reject a bill that’s part of a culture war flashpoint — an effort in Kansas and other states to bar transgender athletes from girls’ and women’s sports.

Kelly makes a practice of not explicitly threatening vetos, but critical comments this week hint that she’s likely to strike the legislation down with her veto pen.

This story has been updated.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Republicans in the Kansas Senate weathered the initial arrest of their majority leader for drunken driving, but they booted him from leadership Friday after details of his arrest painted a picture of dangerous belligerence.

Senate Republicans met after finishing their work and voted in a closed-door meeting to remove Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop of Wichita from the job. Suellentrop did not attend the meeting or issue a statement. He will keep his seat in the Senate.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Gov. Laura Kelly suffered a quick defeat in her latest effort to impose orders aimed at curbing the COVID-19 pandemic.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansas stands among a shrinking handful of states that makes cannabis an outlaw drug, even as a medical tool.

Lawmakers trying to overcome resistance to any legalization are looking at adopting medical marijuana rules so tight that, for instance, only patients who’ve been with specially certified doctors for a full year could get it.

Officers in Shawnee County booked Kansas Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop early Tuesday on charges of driving under the influence, improperly crossing a divided highway, speeding and fleeing or attempting to elude an officer.

Pages