Kan. governor announces bipartisan committee in continued economic recovery effort

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly(KWCH 12)
Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 5:30 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (KWCH) - Kansas Governor Laura Kelly on Friday, June 3, announced bipartisan members of the executive committee for the second Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce. The Taskforce was established in May 2020 “to oversee the distribution of funds from the federal CARES Act,” and “Is charged with leading Kansas forward in continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” a news release from Kelly’s office explained.

“Through the SPARK process, we have transparently and equitably allocated more than $1 billion in CARES Act funds to support businesses, keep Kansans healthy, improve access to broadband, and boost our economy,” Governor Kelly said. “I’m pleased to reignite the Taskforce this year to maintain that transparent process and show Kansans that we’re using these relief funds to make strategic investments where they are needed most.”

Similar to the process of distributing funding through the CARES Act, Kelly’s office said the Kansas Office of Recovery will again be responsible for statewide distribution of federal COVID-19 relief funds allocated to Kansas through the American Rescue Plan (ARPA).

A seven-member executive committee was appointed to oversee the funding distribution process, assisted by an advisory committee with additional members.

“The advisory committee recommends investments to the executive committee, and the executive committee then makes recommendations to the State Finance Council, which makes the final determination,” Kelly’s office explained.

Members of the SPARK Executive Committee include:

  • Lt. Governor David Toland - Chair
  • Secretary of Administration DeAngela Burns-Wallace – Governor’s Public Sector Appointee
  • Jon Rolph, Governor’s Private Sector Appointee
  • Speaker of the House Ron Ryckman
  • Senate President Ty Masterson
  • Greg Orman – Speaker Ryckman’s Appointee
  • Bill Pickert – President Masterson’s Appointee

“Through its combination of public and private partners, I know that the SPARK Taskforce will look past immediate COVID-19 recovery to build a better, more inclusive and resilient economy for future generations,” Governor Kelly said. “I want to thank these leaders for their willingness to serve.”

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