Latest Kansas State Legislature News

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2018 file photo medical marijuana dispensary owner Chance Gilbert displays some of the marijuana he's grown at the Oklahoma Roots dispensary in Shawnee, Okla. Legislators in neighboring Kansas expect to have their most serious debate so far on legalizing marijuana for medical uses, partly because conservative Missouri and Oklahoma already have approved it. (AP Photo/Sean Murphy, File)

Advocates' hopes high as Kansas heads for medical pot debate

Jan. 17, 2020 1:42 PM EST

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers expect to have their most serious debate so far on medical marijuana this year, fueling high hopes for advocates who have been stymied by the state's prohibitionist roots and Republican-controlled Legislature. Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly has said she would sign a bill...

Democrats add Kansas Rep. Watkins' seat to list of targets

Jan. 16, 2020 6:37 PM EST

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An arm of the national Democratic Party has added Republican Rep. Steve Watkins' seat in Kansas to its list of targeted congressional races this year. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Thursday in a memo that the 2nd District of eastern Kansas “presents an...

Brittany Jones, advocacy director for the conservative Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, answers questions from reporters following the unveiling of a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution on abortion, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kansas. Jones' group and other anti-abortion organizations are backing the amendment, which would overturn a Kansas Supreme Court decision protecting abortion rights. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

Kansas abortion measure's fate may rest on when vote is set

Jan. 16, 2020 5:44 PM EST

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The fate of a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the Kansas Constitution could depend more on when it would appear on the ballot than the language being considered by the Republican-controlled Legislature. Supporters of the proposal for overturning last year's Kansas Supreme Court...

Larry Campbell, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly's budget director, answers questions from reporters during a briefing on Kelly's spending proposals, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, in Topeka, Kan. Kelly's budget would spend more than half of the state's cash reservices to pay off debt while also cutting annual payments to the state pension system. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

Kansas governor seeks to use cash reserves to pay off debt

Jan. 16, 2020 5:36 PM EST

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly proposed Thursday that Kansas burn through more than half of its cash reserves to pay off some debt early while taking longer to close a long-term funding gap for the state pension system for teachers and government workers. Kelly's budget director, Larry...

Missouri Senate confirms 2 Democratic colleagues to new jobs

Jan. 16, 2020 1:17 PM EST

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two Democratic state senators from Kansas City are leaving to take executive branch jobs. The Senate on Thursday confirmed the appointments of Sen. Shalonn “Kiki” Curls to the state Labor and Industrial Relations Committee and Sen. Jason Holsman to the Missouri...

Kansas AG wants to crack down on indoor vaping

Jan. 16, 2020 11:05 AM EST

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The state's top prosecutor wants to crack down on indoor vaping. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Wednesday in a news release that he wants the Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act to also cover vaping and has crafted legislation to make the change. The law prohibits smoking in most...

N Carolina Medicaid expansion advocates 'mad' as bill idles

Jan. 15, 2020 6:20 PM EST

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina remains among the dozen or so states that haven't agreed to expand Medicaid to more of the working poor amid a lingering budget stalemate and continued skepticism among top Senate Republicans about the idea. The General Assembly met Tuesday for a session in which...

Kansas House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer, D-Wichita, answers questions from reporters as he prepares to depart from the Statehouse to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security briefing at a former Air Force base, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, in Topeka, Kan. Sawyer later called the briefing

DHS briefs Kansas lawmakers on business, agriculture threats

Jan. 14, 2020 7:08 PM EST

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Foreign governments are trying to get proprietary information about Kansas business and agricultural assets, state legislators heard Tuesday in extraordinary, secret briefings with a U.S. Department of Homeland Security official, according to participants. Lawmakers who attended one of...

Rival GOP hopefuls in Kansas Senate race both talk to Trump

Jan. 14, 2020 5:46 PM EST

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Rival Kansas Senate candidates Kris Kobach and Rep. Roger Marshall have talked to President Donald Trump, with Marshall looking to boost his chances of defeating Trump's earliest prominent supporter in the state. Marshall's campaign confirmed that the western Kansas congressman met...

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2017, file photo, marchers arrive for a Roe v. Wade protest as hundreds converge on the Kansas Statehouse in Topika, Kan. Top Kansas Republicans are pushing to overturn a state Supreme Court decision that protects abortion rights but say they can't get enough support to ban abortion.The Legislature expects to consider a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution during the annual 90-day lawmaking session set to convene Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. It's a response to the state high court's ruling in April that the state's Bill of Rights makes access to abortion a fundamental right. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

Kansas GOP to stymie ban in reversing abortion-rights ruling

Jan. 13, 2020 9:04 PM EST

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Top Kansas Republicans want to head off any push for an abortion ban in the state even as they make overturning a Kansas Supreme Court ruling that protects abortion rights a top priority. The GOP-controlled Legislature expects to consider a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution...