GOP lawmakers move to take control of reopening state

Kansas Republican legislators are moving to wrest control of how soon the state reopens amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been harshly critical of Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat.


State News

May 14, 2020 - 10:21 AM

Protesters outside the Statehouse in Topeka demanded last month that Gov. Laura Kelly let businesses and activities return to normal. Photo by Nomin Ujiyedin / Kansas News Service /

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Top Republican lawmakers in Kansas moved aggressively Wednesday to take control of how the state reopens its coronavirus-battered economy from Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly, the latest of several power grabs by frustrated GOP-controlled legislatures.

Kelly and top Republicans disagree over how quickly to allow some businesses to reopen, with Republicans wanting to move faster. GOP leaders also are irritated with what they view as Kelly’s efforts to evade legislative oversight.

Six GOP leaders rejected a request from Kelly 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 GOP-controlled Legislature a chance to pass a law governing the state’s coronavirus response.

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