Laura Kelly

(Updated at 4:45 p.m.) 

With trees shredded into tinder and homes ripped asunder, scores of families in and around Lawrence and Linwood, Kansas, surveyed lives that forever will be marked by the time before and after Tuesday’s tornado.

Overflowing rivers and reservoirs across Kansas are already producing significant flooding, particularly in the southeast corner of the state.

But, forecasters say, things could get much worse over the next several days as slow-moving thunderstorms develop over central and northeast Kansas.

Dave Ranney / Heartland Health Monitor/File photo

Abused and neglected children are again sleeping overnight in the offices of Kansas foster care contractors because homes cannot be found for them quickly enough.

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.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas senators rejected the promotion of a district judge to the state appeals court because of a series of partisan tweets he sent. Now they're asking an oversight commission to look into Judge Jeffry Jack’s actions.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 


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