Laura Kelly

Last week, Gov. Laura Kelly made her state’s children the first in the country sent home for the rest of the school year. This weekend, she took unilateral action to clear the way for more telemedicine, to temporarily license more health care workers and to let heavier trucks move on Kansas highways.

The orders, Kelly’s office said in a news release, “will make sure Kansas families can access needed care and supplies until we have weathered this storm.”

TOPEKA, Kansas — Gov. Laura Kelly appointed lawyer Keynen “KJ” Wall to the Kansas Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Wall will fill the seat of former Justice Lawton Nuss, who retired in December after more than nine years leading the court as chief justice. It’s Kelly’s second appointment to the state’s highest court since she took office.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Kansas health officials are monitoring up to a dozen people a day for the possibility that they have the new coronavirus and the state health department now can do its own testing, the department’s top official said Wednesday.

TOPEKA, Kansas — A pressure campaign led by Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly aims to force Republican Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle to drop her blockade of a vote to expand Medicaid.

A majority of state senators back the plan, virtually assuring its passage if Wagle allowed a vote.

But Wagle, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, insists that the Legislature first put an anti-abortion amendment to the Kansas Constitution up for a statewide vote.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Medicaid expansion is a done deal, right?

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and Jim Denning, the second most powerful Republican in the Kansas Senate, have compromised on a plan. Together, they bring a majority of lawmakers with them. So, game over.

Sure, the deal still needs to clear the Legislature and get the blessing of federal regulators. But the hard part — breaking an almost decade-long stalemate on the issue — looks done.

TOPEKA, Kansas — The same kids who end up in trouble with the law often come from families in disarray.

Those families, in turn, regularly turn to the state for food assistance, foster care or mental health care.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s budget wish list is long: boosting spending on higher education, public safety and human services. She'd aim to cut some taxes, but look to add new ones for streaming video and music services.

Not surprisingly, the $7.8 billion plan is getting a mixed response from the Republicans who control the Legislature.

TOPEKA, Kansas — The 2020 Kansas Legislature is underway. And while Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly laid out some of her top priorities during the State of the State address on Wednesday, Republican leaders of the House and Senate (and Kelly's fellow Democrats) have some different goals. 

Here are five issues that will be top of mind for the governor and lawmakers as the session heats up.

Gov. Laura Kelly announced Wednesday a plan to form a singular agency — the Kansas Department of Human Services — that would absorb social welfare programs currently handled by three agencies.

The new agency would have a massive statewide presence, employing 6,000 workers, and oversee foster care, mental health services, four state hospitals and the juvenile justice complex. 

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File photo

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly proposed Monday that Kansas give itself more breathing room in its budget by slashing annual payments to its pension system for teachers and government workers, offering a new version of a plan that the Republican-controlled Legislature spiked last year.

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