Kansas Legislature

J. Schafer / KPR/File photo

TOPEKA — State office buildings around the Kansas Statehouse and state social services offices in Topeka and Kansas City, Kansas, are closed to the public Tuesday and Wednesday because of security concerns ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

Gov. Laura Kelly's decision to close state office buildings near the Statehouse came after her office restricted access and increased security at the Statehouse through this week. Those steps followed an FBI warning about possible armed protests in Washington and state capitols.

File photo

TOPEKA — 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.

Kansas Expects Protests; Governor Limits Statehouse Access

Jan 14, 2021
J. Schafer / KPR/File photo

TOPEKA — 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, sent a memo Thursday to the Republican-controlled Legislature's top Republican and Democratic leaders announcing that access to the building will be restricted from Friday through Jan. 22. The memo said there will be an increased law enforcement presence at the Statehouse.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service/File photo

TOPEKA — 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.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly continued to push for vigilance in the fight against the coronavirus and tried to combat skepticism of the vaccine on Tuesday as she laid out her goals for 2021.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service/File photo

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly plans to get a COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday as part of a larger program to give shots to selected Kansas officials so that state government can continue to operate during the pandemic.

WCN 24/7, flickr Creative Commons

TOPEKA — A commission established by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly in response to the mass civil unrest over racial injustice earlier this year is urging state lawmakers to ban officers from entering a home without announcing their presence, but it’s unclear how aggressively the Legislature will pursue it.

Republican legislative leaders will likely keep their sometimes combative relationship with Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly.

Conservative Republicans maintained their grip on top jobs in the Kansas House and Senate in leadership elections on Tuesday.

That paves the way for lawmakers to restrict the governor’s powers to respond to the pandemic and continued challenges for some top Democratic priorities, like Medicaid expansion.

In the House, Republican Speaker Ron Ryckman won an unprecedented third term.

KMUW/File photo

Nearly two months after Gov. Laura Kelly announced that Kansas would develop a "unified" strategy to ramp up coronavirus testing, the program is enough of a work in progress that even some of the state's contractors don't yet have all the details.

LAWRENCE, Kansas — This week’s election set the stage for partisan fights in the Kansas Statehouse over things like redistricting, abortion, Medicaid expansion and pandemic-related aid.

Democrats had hoped to crack the Republican supermajority in both chambers — thus taking away the GOP’s power to override Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s vetoes — but that didn’t happen.

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