Top GOP lawmakers move to take control of reopening Kansas

Published: May. 13, 2020 at 5:39 PM CDT
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Top Republican legislators have moved aggressively to take control of how Kansas reopens its coronavirus-battered economy from Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly.

Six GOP leaders Wednesday rejected her request to have top lawmakers extend a disaster declaration she issued for the coronavirus pandemic into mid-June. The Republicans instead extended the declaration only through May 25, Memorial Day. That would give the GOP-controlled Legislature a chance to pass a law governing the state’s coronavirus response.

The full Legislature is scheduled to reconvene May 21 for a final day in session this year after beginning its spring break early on March 20 because of the pandemic.

“Kansans have lost their livelihoods because of this emergency. They can’t get the unemployment benefits they need because the system is broken. In some places, they’re threatened with arrest when they attempt to open their business because they have to feed their families,” said Majority Leader Dan Hawkins (R-Wichita). “This abuse of

power cannot continue. On May 21 the legislature is going to ensure oversight on both the state and local levels.”

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