Kansas Legislature

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansans from Liberal to Leavenworth will need to wear a mask in public starting Friday.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly said she will issue a new executive order later this week requiring masks. While the State Finance Council will review the order — a Republican-majority panel of legislators that she has clashed with during the pandemic — they cannot revoke it. Only the full Legislature has the ability to do that with a concurrent resolution Kelly's office said.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas' Democratic governor is locked in a new partisan dispute with the Republican-controlled Legislature over her plan to largely paper over a massive budget shortfall tied to the coronavirus pandemic with short-term accounting moves.

Republican legislative leaders argued Friday that measures outlined by Gov. Laura Kelly's budget director to balance the next budget merely push most of the state’s financial problems off a year — and back into the Legislature’s lap. The plan avoids cuts for public schools, social services and highway projects.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — At the beginning of the year, independent consulting firm London Economics released a study of Kansas electric rates — how they’re developed, why they’re more expensive than neighboring states and some suggestions on how to change that.

Legislators seemed poised to act on some of the recommendations until the coronavirus struck and shortened their session by several weeks. Some consumer and environmental advocates say the abrupt stop cut the time and energy given to critical policy aimed at reducing your utility bills.

TOPEKA, Kansas — A deal forged by the governor and legislative leaders extends the Kansas disaster declaration in response to the coronavirus through September, for now ending what’s become a partisan conflict.

Kansas News Service/File photo

TOPEKA — 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.

Kansas school districts are trying to budget for some pretty big unknowns right now.

No one knows if it will even be safe to have students in schools in August, and everyone’s worried about the $650 million hole COVID-19 blew in the state’s budget. Administrators are worried that if the state’s economy doesn’t rebound soon, they’ll have to make deep cuts in the middle of next school year.

sedgwickcounty.org

Primaries will be held in August for both seats on the Sedgwick County Commission up for election this year.

Voters will decide Republican primaries on Aug. 4 and contested races in November.

Current commissioners Michael O’Donnell and David Dennis are running for second terms. The two Republicans were both elected in 2016.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle said Thursday that she will not run for the U.S. Senate, citing “personal and political trials” in the last year for her decision.

Wagle announcement also indicated that she would not seek reelection to the Kansas Senate. The filing deadline is Monday.

The decision leaves U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall and former Secretary of State Kris Kobach as the primary candidates for the GOP nomination for the seat.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansas no longer will impose a statewide phased-in reopening plan, Gov. Laura Kelly said Tuesday.

In deciding to veto a bill that would have restricted her powers to respond to the coronavirus, she issued a new emergency declaration.

“This legislation creates more problems than it solves,” Kelly said. She argued it would ultimately delay coronavirus aid from the federal government. “This would only prolong the economic pain of this crisis.”

TOPEKA, Kansas — In a one-day marathon session that wrapped up a legislative year upended by the coronavirus, Kansas lawmakers reined in the governor’s powers to respond to the public health crisis.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly sharply criticized the all-night rush that drafted the bill, but she stopped short of threatening a veto. Instead, she said, she will read the legislation carefully and make a decision at a later date.

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