Kansas House compromises on response bill

Negotiations still delicate as governor, lawmakers square off on who has final say over federal relief funds, closing businesses during pandemic.

By

State News

June 4, 2020 - 9:28 AM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A bill giving Kansas lawmakers some oversight of the state’s coronavirus response cleared the House on Wednesday night and is headed to the Senate.

The Legislature convened for a special session called by Kelly after she vetoed a sweeping coronavirus bill GOP lawmakers approved in May moments before adjourning their annual session. That measure would have curbed Kelly’s power to direct the state’s pandemic response; given legislative leaders the final say over how $1.25 billion in federal relief funds are spent; and protected businesses, medical providers and nursing homes from lawsuits.

Her staff and top Republicans have been negotiating since then. GOP lawmakers unveiled a new plan Tuesday that also would give legislators oversight of spending, prevent coronavirus-related lawsuits and limit Kelly’s ability to close businesses statewide this fall and winter. The vote in the House was 107-12.

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