Statehouse Blend Kansas explores the inner workings of Kansas politics and government. Host Jim McLean of the Kansas News Service talks each week with people at the center of key debates. You'll hear from lawmakers, advocates and regular Kansans. And you'll stay up to date on what's happening in Topeka throughout the legislative session.
COVID-19 Compromise Ends Divisive Session Of Kansas Legislature
Weeks of political wrangling over Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s authority to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic ended when Republican leaders agreed to a compromise that increased their oversight of emergency orders and $1.2 billion in federal relief funds.
Coronavirus Closures Send Kansas Unemployment Claims Soaring
The coronavirus continues to spread in Kansas. The result of emergency orders is that many people are staying in their homes. The shutdown of businesses across the state has triggered a record wave of people seeking unemployment benefits. The public health emergency has also forced politicians off the campaign trail. On this week’s Statehouse Blend Kansas, Jim McLean talks with the manager of one U.S. Senate campaign to find out how that candidate is adapting.
Kansas Lawmakers Question Kelly's Use Of Emergency Powers Before Fleeing Coronavirus Threat
Kansas lawmakers approved a basic budget this week before heading home to await whatever the coronavirus has in store for the state and their communities. They’re hoping to reconvene in late April to wrap up their work for the year. But they left knowing they might not have an opportunity to resolve their differences on several big issues, including Medicaid expansion and a constitutional amendment on abortion. On their way out of town, some Republican lawmakers questioned whether Democratic Gov
With Talk Of Shortened Session, Kansas Lawmakers Still Stuck on Abortion And Medicaid
Kansas lawmakers are making contingency plans in case the spread of the coronavirus forces an early end to the 2020 legislative session. A shortened session would lessen the chances of lawmakers resolving their differences on abortion and Medicaid expansion before heading home. Susan Wagle, the Republican president of the Kansas Senate, is blocking consideration of a bipartisan expansion bill until the House approves a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the Kansas Constitution. Attempts by
Kansas Officials Steel For Coronavirus; Lawmakers Seek End To Stalemate
Kansas health officials say the state is ready to deal with the new coronavirus now that Kansans are starting to get sick. Lawmakers still aren’t ready to move past a dispute on abortion and Medicaid expansion that is blocking progress on both issues. Host Jim McLean talks with a legislator at the center of that dispute about why he cast a decisive vote against the anti-abortion amendment. Also featured on this week’s episode: an interview with the state’s chief health officer on preparations
Halfway Through But A Lot Left To Do - Plus, Getting Young Kansans To 'Nerd Out' On Politics
Kansas lawmakers sped through dozens of bills this past week to keep them alive past a “turn around” deadline marking the midpoint of the session. Measures to legalize sports betting and to give citizens more control over property taxes were among bills that made the cut. Still, many of the biggest issues remain for lawmakers to tackle in the session’s final months. Among them, Medicaid expansion and a constitutional amendment that supporters say is needed to preserve the state’s ability to
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This is a fabulous summary of our legislative happenings.