Kansas Legislature

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on Friday vetoed a tax relief plan from the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature for the second time in two months, arguing that even the new, smaller measure would "decimate" the state's finances.

The second tax bill, like the first, was designed to provide relief to individuals and businesses that have been paying more in state income taxes because of changes in federal tax laws at the end of 2017. Republicans are expected to try to override her veto when the Legislature reconvenes May 29 for a last day in session before adjourning for the year.

Kansas senators met Tuesday to formally vote down Gov. Laura Kelly’s nomination for a Court of Appeals seat. In a strange twist, even Kelly wanted her nominee rejected.

The outcome was already known before lawmakers returned to Topeka for the single vote.

Flickr: MG Green creative commons

Solar panel users in Kansas continue to pay higher electricity bills as they wait for utility company Evergy to keep a promise made during this year’s legislative session to remove a recently added fee.

Evergy says it will follow through on the promise by the end of May. But state regulators ultimately hold the power to decide whether or not to approve the request to change some solar customers’ rates.

When it comes to marijuana, Kansas is a red state in an increasingly green country.

Three of its neighbors — Colorado, Oklahoma and Missouri — have legalized some form of the drug in recent years. Yet Kansas remains one of four states in the country without a comprehensive medical or recreational marijuana program.

A deal to clear the way for Medicaid expansion next year that some Kansas lawmakers thought they had brokered in the waning hours of their just-finished legislative session appears to be unraveling.

Instead, the conservative leaders and moderate rank-and-file Republicans find themselves splitting in an intra-party fight.

A fresh push by school districts to get Kansas to pony up more money for public education met with skepticism Thursday from the Kansas Supreme Court.

Justices had pointed questions for both sides in the lawsuit that began in 2010 and has already gone through multiple rounds of oral arguments and rulings.

The justices, who so far have consistently ruled in favor of the districts, may be ready for it to be over.

Justice Eric Rosen called it frustrating that the funding goal that school districts argue for seems to be a moving target.

All Kansas lawmakers really had to do to end the 2019 legislative session was pass a budget. They did that, with gusto. But also without passing Medicaid expansion. That's one of the items left on freshman Rep. Brandon Woodard's to-do list for next year. 


Kansas may soon turn to private contractors to take the overflow from its crowded prisons, raising questions about growing costs and the reliability of for-profit jails.

That plan ran into complications over the weekend when lawmakers insisted on a closer review from a state commission to OK some of the line-by-line spending. But taxpayers could soon be spending almost $36 million more to deal with a range of problems in the prison system.

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.

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