Policy & Research


2021 Kansas Legislative Preview (January 2021)

Budget and COVID-19 Will Be Priorities When Legislators Return

By Linda J. Sheppard, J.D., Peter F. H. Barstad, Hina B. Shah, M.P.H., Sydney McClendon | January 08, 2021

2021 Kansas Legislative Preview (January 2021)


The 2021 Kansas Legislature will face many important issues when they return to work in January. Responding to the pandemic will take center stage, as legislators consider its impact on health, the state budget, the economy and jobs. Pandemic-related issues, such as statewide and local authority for responding to public health emergencies, will receive a lot of attention in 2021.

Other health-related issues could be considered as well, including:

  • Medicaid expansion,
  • Private health insurance regulation,
  • Medical marijuana,
  • Electronic cigarettes,
  • Food sales tax, and
  • Improvements in the behavioral health and child welfare systems.

This brief looks at these and other health policy issues that could be considered in the upcoming session and provides an overview of the state budget.

The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.