Lawmakers approve compromise COVID relief bill

Legislative leaders will have a say in how to spend federal virus relief funds and limit some of governor's power to close businesses.

By

State News

June 5, 2020 - 2:54 PM

Wichita Democratic state Rep. Elizabeth Bishop puts on a mask as she enters the Statehouse on Thursday, the second day of the special session. Photo by KANSAS NEWS SERVICE/JIM MCLEAN/KCUR.ORG

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Supporters rammed a bipartisan plan through the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature on Thursday aimed at giving lawmakers some oversight of Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s response to the novel coronavirus after cutting off a debate over preventing pandemic-related lawsuits.

The measure gives legislative leaders a say in how $1.25 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds are spent, limits Kelly’s power to close businesses and provides some protection from lawsuits to businesses, medical providers and nursing homes. The measure resulted from negotiations between top Republican legislators and Kelly and her staff.

Kelly called the bill a “victory for Kansans” and said in a statement, “I will sign this legislation.”

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