Joe BlubaughStatehouse Bureau Chief
Joe Blubaugh is a former news broadcaster, retired military veteran and former communications official (Public Information Officer) for two different state agencies. He was the communications secretary for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and served as a communications director for the Kansas Department of Transportation's (KDOT) northeast Kansas district. He currently resides in Silver Lake, just outside of Topeka.
Joe is a graduate of Fort Hays State University with a degree in communications and a minor in political science.
He served in both the U.S. Army and the Air Force (Kansas Air National Guard's 190th Air Refueling Wing), where he served as Chief of Public Affairs.
Prior to his military service, Joe worked for eight years as a news director, news reporter and broadcaster for radio stations in Hays, Phillipsburg, Dodge City and Pratt.
While Joe will primarily be stationed at the Kansas Statehouse, listeners can expect him to be at the KPR studios in Lawrence from time to time. Joe Blubaugh will work hand-in-hand with other reporters who contribute to the Kansas News Service, but he will also be called upon as a back-up host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered from time to time and will participate in our various membership drives.
For five years running, the Republican-controlled legislature has thwarted Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's efforts to pass Medicaid expansion. Kelly is pushing for it once again in the upcoming legislative session, and she is hoping the 2024 elections will be key to it passing.
Kansas is one of the few states that doesn't offer legal access to marijuana, and one of just nine states that hasn't expanded Medicaid. Kansas seniors will be lobbying lawmakers for both.
Taxpayers are lining up at public meetings to voice frustration over increasing property taxes. State lawmakers are taking notice and could consider new restrictions on tax increases.