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.”