Morning newsletter of the Kansas Reflector

C.J. Janovy | Opinion editor

Good morning.

"It’s heartbreaking to learn how many Kansas families are going hungry and can’t get enough food, let alone nutritious foods." John Wilson, president and CEO of Kansas Action for Children, on release of the 2020 KIDS COUNT report that finds broad challenges in Kansas amid COVID-19


High-risk health care workers in Kansas get first doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Administration of COVID-19 vaccinations is underway in Kansas for high-risk health care workers, Gov. Laura Kelly said Monday.

The first shipment to Kansas of the Pfizer vaccine, approved Friday by the Food and Drug Administration, totals 23,750 doses. Health care workers who are around the virus consistently are the first to receive the shots, followed by low-risk medical workers and those 65 years and older.

Kelly estimated previously there should be enough vaccinations for 150,000 people to receive the first of two doses by the end of the year. Once additional shipments arrive, and pending FDA approval of the Moderna’s vaccine, a more expansive vaccination effort will begin, Kelly said.

“Next Wednesday, you’ll see a sort of across the state vaccination program beginning,” Kelly said. “We expect Moderna’s first shipments to come in next week, then Pfizer’s second shipment to come in and then weekly thereafter.”

With case numbers and deaths still rising across the state, Kansas families are struggling with access to basic needs like housing, food and health care, according to findings of a new report. Legislators hope the vaccine can provide some form of optimism toward improving these pressure points. Read more.


Kelly picks commerce secretary to fill vacancy at lieutenant governor

Gov. Laura Kelly has selected commerce secretary David Toland to be her next lieutenant governor. He fills an open seat in a game of political musical chairs, with Kelly having picked current Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers to replace Republican state Treasurer Jake LaTurner, who is heading to Washington, D.C., as the newly elected 2nd District congressional representative. Read more.


‘Adios amigos’: Roberts highlights work on agriculture policy, expresses hope for bipartisanship

In what he dubbed his “adios amigos” speech, U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts reflected on his path to politics, time spent as chairman of the agriculture committee in both the House and Senate, and the value of bipartisan efforts in passing meaningful legislation. Read more.


U.S. Supreme Court won’t consider appeal of Kobach’s unconstitutional voter restriction

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider an appeal by Kansas to reinstate a law requiring new voters to prove their citizenship. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson ruled the law unconstitutional in 2018 following a trial in which former Secretary of State Kris Kobach failed to prove claims of widespread voter fraud. Read more.


Confusion over provisional ballots is one reason Kansas needs same-day voter registration

Opinion contributor Letitia Harmon volunteered as a poll worker for the 2020 general election in Johnson County. Voters were confused about provisional ballots, she says — a problem that would be solved with same-day regisatrationRead more. 


Kansas electors stay faithful to President Donald Trump

Kansas’ six GOP-appointed members of the Electoral College remained faithful Monday to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, supporting the majority will of voters in the state’s general election. Read more.


Melissa Taylor Standridge sworn in to Kansas Supreme Court, promises to promote trust in justice system

As she was sworn into the Kansas Supreme Court, Melissa Taylor Standridge dedicated her future work to promoting public trust and confidence in the state’s justice system. Read more. 


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