Laura Kelly

wp paarz / Flickr Creative Commons

This week, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly withdrew the nomination of a judge she’d named to the state’s Court of Appeals, after tweets surfaced showing the judge speaking disparagingly about Conservative leaders.

Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly insists the state budget she’s preparing can fully fund the state’s schools, expand Medicaid coverage to another 150,000 people and begin to repair a troubled child welfare system — without a tax hike.

The Democrat said Wednesday night she’ll lean on experience and relationships built over 14 years in the Kansas Senate to carve out compromises with lawmakers on those priorities.

Yet she described her job as daunting and state government as broken in several key areas.

They say it takes one to know one. As Kansas governor-elect Laura Kelly soon will be, former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius was a Democrat leading the state while Republicans controlled the Legislature. 

Jim McLean of the Kansas News Service spoke with Sebelius about the support from Republicans that helped Kelly overcome competition from Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach and independent Greg Orman in the governor's race and what will make her successful in office. 

A few days after the election, Kansas' next governor is beginning to spell out what she'll do in office. 

On Thursday, governor-elect Laura Kelly said she'd reinstate an executive order to protect LGBTQ state workers from discrimination. The order was first put in place by then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in 2007, but that was rescinded in 2015 by then-Gov. Sam Brownback.

Kansas Democratic Gov.-elect Laura Kelly is targeting school funding, Medicaid expansion and LGBT protections as some of her top priorities as she prepares to take office in January.

Democrat Laura Kelly fended off perhaps the most energizing and divisive figure in Kansas politics on Tuesday to become the next governor of Kansas.

Kelly beat out self-described “full-throttled” conservative GOP nominee Kris Kobach, the secretary of state who’d forged a kinship with President Donald Trump while dabbling in anti-immigration and voter fraud crusades across the country.

Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce

All five Kansas gubernatorial candidates will be in Garden City this evening for a debate, hosted by the Southwest Kansas Chambers of Commerce. HPPR will be broadcasting the debate live. 

Details about the event our outlined below:

Take a look at the Kansas budget and one item looms large, eating up more state spending than anything else.

Schools swallow about $4.5 billion. That spending rose after an infusion of cash by lawmakers earlier this year in response to a court ruling in a long-running fight over whether state government does enough to support public education.

A new poll by Emerson College in Massachusetts finds the Kansas governor’s race is a statistical tie with five weeks to go until the general election.

The poll reports 37 percent of voters surveyed chose Republican Kris Kobach and 36 percent chose Democrat Laura Kelly if the election was held now.

Independent candidate Greg Orman received support from 9 percent of voters. About 15 percent of those surveyed are still undecided.

The poll indicates President Donald Trump is popular in Kansas with a 55 percent approval and 45 percent disapproval rating.

The Kansas economy has been sluggish the past few years, but the candidates running for governor each have a plan to jumpstart things.

Will any of them actually work?

A revival of rural Kansas can come from drawing businesses and housing to the centers of small cities and by building better highways, gubernatorial candidate Laura Kelly said Monday.

In a plan she says could invigorate rural areas, the Democrat also calls for propping up small grocery stores, expanding Medicaid coverage, reopening state offices closed in recent years and fixing deteriorating housing in those areas.

John Hanna / The Topeka Capital-Journal

When it comes to Kansas universities and the budget, there are winners and there are losers.  This report from The Topeka Capital-Journal.  A Senate subcommittee took $9.4 million from the budget of the University of Kansas main campus in Lawrence, and gave $7.4 million of it to the KUMC expansion program in Sedgwick County.  $2 million must be diverted to medical student scholarships.

Could Brownback K-12 plan be a legal maneuver?

Jan 20, 2015
Topeka Capital-Journal

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing to ditch the state’s K-12 funding program reports the Topeka Capital-Journal. 

Brownback is recommending lawmakers abolish the K-12 funding formula and replace it with more than $3 billion in block grants while the Legislature writes a new formula.

Bruce Baker is a school finance professor at Rutgers University.  The former Kansan says it could be a legal maneuver to escape litigation.  Baker says giving something a new name, calling it a different formula, even when it’s not can be presented in court as an argument to dismiss a case. That forces plaintiffs to file a new lawsuit in a lower court because the formula specified no longer exists.