Laura Kelly

Chris Neal / For the Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Kansas’ elementary, middle and high schools can reopen for in-person instruction in August, despite Gov. Laura Kelly’s push to delay the 2020-21 school year until after Labor Day.

The Kansas State Board of Education voted 5-5 Wednesday — the tie being enough to reject Kelly’s executive order that would have delayed the start by three weeks. Her order, which affected instruction and all extracurriculars, needed the board’s approval.

Chris Neal / For the Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Students, teachers and staff members at K-12 schools in Kansas will wear masks, use hand sanitizer once an hour, socially distance and have their temperatures taken daily. That’s according to a new statewide mandate from Gov. Laura Kelly, who says she does not need approval to institute the COVID-19 safety regulations.

courtesy photo

TOPEKA — A Kansas county Republican Party chairman who owns a weekly newspaper has apologized for a cartoon posted on the paper's Facebook page that equated the Democratic governor's coronavirus-inspired order for people to wear masks in public with the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Sedgwick County commissioners voted Thursday not to adopt Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order on masks as a mandate, but instead are recommending that residents mask up when they're out in public.

Some commissioners said they support the order’s intent, but questioned its enforceability.

"We really and truly need to wear our masks when we’re going out," Commissioner David Dennis said, "but the problem is enforcement."

Virtually everyone in Kansas is under an order to wear masks when they’re in public starting Friday.

Yet the executive order, officially issued by Gov. Laura Kelly on Thursday, comes with exceptions.

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.

TOPEKA, Kansas — The head of the agency that’s overseeing Kansas’ response to historic unemployment rates during the coronavirus pandemic resigned Monday.

Governor Laura Kelly said in a statement that Kansas Department of Labor Secretary Delía García “inherited an agency that had its funding, its technology and its staff gutted by the previous administration."

She did not say whether García’s resignation was requested, and at a news conference later Monday, she said: “I met with Secretary Garcia Sunday night, and she offered her resignation and I accepted it.”

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.

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