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Governor, Legislature in Tussle Over Coronavirus Response

Top Republican legislators moved aggressively to take control of how Kansas reopens its coronavirus-battered economy from Democratic Governor Laura Kelly.

Six GOP leaders 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, to give the Legislature a chance to pass a law governing the state’s coronavirus response.

The full Legislature is scheduled to reconvene May 21st for a final day in session this year, and House and Senate committees are meeting this week and next to draft measures on a variety of issues, including the governor’s power.

Republican leaders questioned whether Kelly is moving too slowly to reopen the economy.

Legislators are trying to set up a situation in which they’d pass a measure curbing Kelly’s power, and force her to either accept the limits, or watch her current disaster declaration expire.


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