Latest Kansas State Legislature News

Kansas governor signs bill to launch new transportation plan

Apr. 3, 2020 6:10 PM EDT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly signed legislation Friday to launch a new, 10-year transportation program she and other officials see as a $10 billion stimulus to counter the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic. The program will use use existing funds to pay for $1 billion a year in...

Recent Kansas editorials

Mar. 31, 2020 9:00 AM EDT

The Kansas City Star, March 29 Once again, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has acted to protect her constituents, imposing a statewide stay-at-home order on Saturday in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. Without nearly enough equipment or tests, not to mention ICU beds, and no vaccine or proven treatment beyond...

Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr., R-Olathe, holds up a map showing the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state by county, during a meeting of legislative leaders, Sunday, March 29, 2020, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. The counties in blue have had confirmed cases, with the most recent cases in the darkest shade. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

Top Kansas lawmakers let governor's stay-at-home order stand

Mar. 29, 2020 7:33 PM EDT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Leaders of the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature agreed Sunday that Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's statewide stay-at-home order is necessary to help check the spread of the new coronavirus, allowing it to take effect Monday as planned. It helped Kelly's case that the exceptions...

A man gathers his groceries after checking out at a Hy-Vee grocery store Thursday, March 26, 2020 in Overland Park, Kan. Stores have begun installing plexiglass shields in checkout aisles as a precaution to protect clerks and help stop the spread the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas governor orders residents to stay home to curb virus

Mar. 28, 2020 5:56 PM EDT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued a statewide order Saturday requiring people to stay in their homes to slow the spread of the coronavirus, waiting until nearly three-quarters of the state's residents were already facing such directives. Kansas joins nearly two dozen states in ordering...

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, left, talks to Chuck Magerl, right, the owner of the Free State Brewing Company pub in Lawrence, Kan,, after a news conference to announce the launch of a new state loan program, Friday, March 20, 2020, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. The new program will make $5 million in short-term, no-interest loans to bars, taverns, restaurants and motels struggling to cover their operating expenses. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

Pandemic spurs Kansas lawmakers to rethink governor's power

Mar. 21, 2020 12:38 PM EDT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Some Kansas legislators say they didn't understand how much power the governor has in emergencies until Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly closed K-12 schools for the rest of the semester and ordered a six-week halt to new evictions and mortgage foreclosures amid the coronavirus pandemic. ...

Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr., center, R-Olathe, confers with members of his and other Republican leaders' staff as the chamber prepares to adjourn so that lawmakers can start their annual spring break, Thursday, March 19, 2020, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Lawmakers approved a 10-year, $10 billion transportation program that many of them see as a stimulus to counter the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

Kansas lawmakers pass transportation plan seen as stimulus

Mar. 19, 2020 9:15 PM EDT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators on Thursday approved a new, 10-year transportation program that many lawmakers see as a much-needed, $10 billion stimulus to counter the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic. The Republican-controlled Legislature made funding highway, road and bridge...

FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2018 file photo, Democrat House candidate

GOP Kansas lawmakers curb Democrat Kelly's emergency powers

Mar. 19, 2020 8:55 PM EDT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers on Thursday extended a state of emergency prompted by the coronavirus crisis after making sure it gave the GOP-controlled Legislature oversight over the actions of Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly. The Senate voted 39-0 and the House 115-0 to approve a resolution to extend...

GOP kills Kansas governor's plans on services, energy office

Mar. 19, 2020 11:57 AM EDT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican legislators in Kansas have killed Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's plans to merge two social services agencies and create an independent energy policy office. The GOP-controlled House has passed two resolutions rejecting executive orders Kelly issued in January. Under the state...

Kansas House Speaker Pro Tem Blaine Finch, center, R-Ottawa, confers with House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer, left, D-Wichita, and Rep. Les Mason, R-McPherson, during talks with senators over extending a state of emergency over the new coronavirus, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Some Republicans are upset with Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's order to close schools and are looking to curb her power to deal with the pandemic. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

GOP right pushes back on Kansas governor for closing schools

Mar. 19, 2020 10:25 AM EDT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — As most of the U.S. raced to get ahead of the coronavirus pandemic, conservative Republican lawmakers in Kansas moved Wednesday to limit their Democratic governor’s emergency powers, including the ability to establish quarantine zones if the need arises. Conservatives are angry...

Kansas lawmakers OK coronavirus responses, work on spending

Mar. 17, 2020 8:20 PM EDT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators wrapped up work Tuesday on three measures responding to the coronavirus pandemic and tried to resolve differences over the next state budget and a plan for funding transportation projects. Lawmakers approved a bill that would give jobless workers an additional 10...