Gov. seeks disaster extension

Gov. Laura Kelly prepared to issue directives rescinding seven executive orders tied to COVID-19 before a meeting Tuesday of top legislative leaders considering the governor’s request to extend the state’s disaster emergency declaration to July 15 as part of a plan to wind down extraordinary measures by Aug. 30.

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June 15, 2021 - 10:00 AM

Gov. Laura Kelly (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly prepared to issue directives rescinding seven executive orders tied to COVID-19 before a meeting Tuesday of top legislative leaders considering the governor’s request to extend the state’s disaster emergency declaration to July 15 as part of a plan to wind down extraordinary measures by Aug. 30.

Kelly submitted a letter to the Legislative Coordinating Council, which includes House and Senate leaders of both parties, a timeline for concluding the emergency response to the pandemic under the Kansas Emergency Management Act. She proposed the LCC extend for another 30 days the state disaster declaration, but indicated her intention was to seek more extensions so the emergency apparatus could be dismantled piece by piece during the next 2½ months.

She said state government had concentrated emergency operations to vaccination efforts, logistical support to local communities, return of state agencies to normal operations and securing federal financial support for the work. COVID-19 remained a threat if vaccination rates continued to dwindle, she said, but Kansans expected a responsible standing down of the state government’s emergency operation.

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