Meg Wingerter

Reporter, Heartland Health Monitor

Meg Wingerter is a reporter for KHI News Service, a partner in the Heartland Health Monitor team. HHM is a collaboration among KCUR, KHI News Service in Topeka, Kan., KCPT television in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas Public Radio in Lawrence, Kan.

Previously, she was a business reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal, where she also covered the state economy, agriculture and health care. Before moving to Topeka, Meg was a reporter for The Muskegon Chronicle (Michigan) and The State News (East Lansing, Michigan). Meg has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and Chinese from Michigan State University.

File Photo / Kansas News Service

Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday signed a bill creating a task force to examine the Kansas foster care system.

The number of children in the Kansas foster care system has set records in recent years, passing 7,100 in April. The death of an abused boy in Kansas City, Kansas, also raised concerns about whether the system was protecting children.

Sen. Pat Roberts' website

Kansas U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts is not enthusiastic about the Senate’s version of the Obamacare replacement bill.

Nevertheless, he supports it.

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service/File photo

Safety concerns continue to prevent recertification of Osawatomie State Hospital, although a recent inspection didn’t find any evidence of the patient violence that prompted federal officials to decertify it in late 2015.

Staffing shortages and concerns about security and patient safety prompted the initial order. Certain they had addressed those issues, state officials appeared confident the state-run psychiatric hospital would pass muster.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday signed into law the state’s new school funding formula, which increases aid to schools by $284 million within two years.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Gov. Sam Brownback defended his signature tax cuts last week after lawmakers overrode his veto of a bill repealing them, but he may have exaggerated their impact.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says a law repealing his signature tax cuts will create a drag on the state’s economy.

Brownback vetoed a bill that raises tax rates and repeals an exemption for certain types of business income. The Legislature voted to override his veto Tuesday night.

Lawmakers who voted for the repeal say it will put Kansas back on sound financial footing. Brownback disagrees.

Kansas News Service/ File Photo

A bill to replace funding for Medicaid and the Kansas mental health system lost to budget-balancing cuts last year is headed to Gov. Sam Brownback.

Senate substitute for House Bill 2079 would increase a fee that health maintenance organizations, or HMOs, pay to do business in Kansas from 3.31 percent to 5.77 percent. HMOs are a type of health insurance that typically has lower premiums but only covers care within a network of doctors and hospitals.

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas House and Senate negotiators have come up with an amended foster care task force bill but are working against the legislative clock to get it passed.

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service

Editor’s note: Kansas privatized its foster care system in 1997, after a lawsuit revealed widespread problems. Twenty years later, the number of Kansas children in foster care has shot up — by a third in just the last five years — and lawmakers are debating whether the system once again needs serious changes. The Kansas News Service investigated problems in the system and possible solutions. This is the fourth story in a series

Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas is on track to spend less than a third of what it did six years ago on cash assistance and to serve a third as many low-income people, according to a state budget office memo.

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