2019 legislative session

In the waning days of the 2019 session, the conservative Republicans controlling the Kansas Legislature made one thing clear to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and her allies: They were ready for a fight against Medicaid expansion.  

The issue commanded the four-month session, which ended in the wee hours Sunday. The session was the first with the new Democratic governor in office, which gave people who wanted to expand health coverage for thousands of low-income Kansans the energy to push hard in the final days. Their efforts ultimately failed.

 


Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Medicaid expansion advocates threw thousands of fliers off balconies in the Kansas Statehouse Friday to protest a lack of action as the clock ticks down on the legislative session.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Republican legislators in Kansas revived tax relief legislation Thursday night without assurances that Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly would accept a new, smaller plan for helping individuals and businesses who are paying more in state income taxes because of changes in federal tax laws.

Kansas News Service

Republican lawmakers in Kansas narrowly failed Wednesday to override Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's veto of a bill requiring abortion providers to tell patients about a disputed treatment to stop a medication abortion after it's been started.

Supporters of expanding Medicaid in Kansas proved Wednesday they’ve got the votes in the Legislature — if they can get a vote.

But they lacked enough lawmakers on their side to bypass Republican leadership and force that vote.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Supporters of expanding Medicaid in Kansas are looking to block passage of the state's next annual budget to force an expansion plan through the Republican-controlled Legislature over conservative leaders' objections.

Bryan Thompson / Kansas News Service/File photo

Gov. Laura Kelly has nominated a new judge for the Kansas Court of Appeals despite a lawsuit over whether she has the power to fill the vacancy after her first nominee withdrew.

Carla Eckels / KMUW/File photo

Wichita City Council member Brandon Johnson wants Evergy to replace new metal electric poles in some neighborhoods with wooden ones.

Johnson represents District 1, where many of the transmission poles that top 100 feet were recently installed.

“To see 2.8 miles of neighborhood having these industrial poles … is just unheard of,” Johnson said.

Evergy is the electric company that now oversees the transmission poles. It was formed from a merger of Westar Energy of Topeka and Great Plains Energy of Kansas.

KMUW/File photo

A new Kansas law is scaling back the requirements for safety drills in public and private schools.

The move comes a year after the Kansas Legislature added crisis drills to prepare students for active shooters and other threats.

KMUW/File photo

Kansas voters might have more flexibility when it comes to where they cast ballots in future elections.

The Kansas Legislature approved an update to a state election law that gives counties the option to adopt open polling. The bill is now awaiting the governor’s signature.

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