Kansas extends pandemic emergency declarations to June 15

Gov. Laura Kelly had requested a June 27 deadline, taking into consideration the state's current vaccination rates.

By

State News

June 1, 2021 - 8:41 AM

The legislative coordinating council, led by Senate President Ty Masterson, left, shortened a requested 30-day extension to 15-days much to the displeasure of Democratic leadership, including Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes, right. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Kansas legislative leaders moved Friday to extend the state of emergency for the pandemic through June 15, while ending the block on evictions, despite requests from the governor for a 30-day extension.

In a brief meeting, House and Senate leadership debated the merits of extending the state of emergency declaration until June 27 — as requested by Gov. Laura Kelly — or a shorter option. The declaration allows the state’s emergency management department to coordinate efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Democratic members of the Legislative Coordinating Council argued cutting the state of emergency extension in half was premature considering the current vaccination rates and COVID-19 case numbers. However, Republican council members said the emergency had gone on long enough and that the state ought to focus on creating an “exit strategy.”

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