2019 legislative session

A coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans powered past objections from conservative leaders in the Kansas House Wednesday to approve Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s Medicaid expansion proposal.

Albeit a slightly revised version.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Gov. Kelly announced Tuesday morning that she is withdrawing her nominee for an appeals court seat after past tweets showed Jeffry Jack insulting the president and calling for gun control.

“It’s unacceptable for a sitting judge, who must be seen as unbiased and impartial, to post personal political views on social media,” Kelly said in a statement Tuesday morning.

Just after approving the school funding Gov. Laura Kelly asked for, the Kansas Senate turned around and gave the final okay to a tax relief package she opposes, daring the new governor to issue her first veto. 


Republicans in the Kansas Senate seem ready to end a long-running lawsuit by complying with a court ruling that said the state sends too little money to local school districts.

The Kansas House? Not just yet. It’s advancing a plan that would continue adding school spending for another year, and only another year.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The Kansas Senate has agreed to a school funding plan aimed at ending a long-running lawsuit over education spending. It’s a rare example of Republicans going along with Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly.

Gov. Kelly proposed essentially renewing a plan the Kansas Supreme Court ruled last year was close to adequate. Based on calculations from the Department of Education, the proposal would add $90 million more a year to account for inflation.

It passed the Senate on a 32-8 vote and is headed to the House. Republican Sen. Molly Baumgardner calls the plan reasonable.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

A Kansas school boards group plans to oppose an education funding bill that it says likely won’t end a long-running court battle over how much the state spends.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Kansas lawmakers have condemned New York's new law protecting abortion rights in a statement that will be sent to every New York legislator and its governor.

The Kansas House on Wednesday approved a resolution declaring that New York's law "violates the life and well-being of a woman and her unborn child."

The 85-38 vote came after some Democrats questioned whether the GOP-controlled Legislature was wasting its time. The Kansas Senate approved the resolution last month.

Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar / flickr, Creative Commons

The debate over legalizing sports betting in Kansas could hinge on how gamblers’ personal data is used.

Some House lawmakers studying the issue are concerned personal data could be used to target habitual gamblers and encourage them to gamble more.

To avoid that, Republican Rep. Francis Awerkamp wants the state lottery to directly manage online sports betting.

“It allows the Legislature to better control what happens to the personal data collected through the apps so that it’s not used in ways which we don’t agree with,” he says.

Gov. Laura Kelly signed her first bill and school finance got some attention, but roundtable discussions on Medicaid expansion dominated a short week at the Kansas Statehouse. Sara Collins, a healthcare economist with the Commonwealth Fund, and Michael Cannon, health policy director for the Cato Institute, represented diverging views of the costs and benefits. 


Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service, File Photo

Gov. Laura Kelly’s school funding plan is headed to the full Senate for consideration. Though the proposal is advancing, a coalition of Kansas school districts has pulled its support.

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