Laura Kelly

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas legislators convened Thursday for a single-day session on the coronavirus pandemic with Republican majorities determined to curb Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s power and the state’s GOP attorney general suggesting she’s been on “legally suspect” ground for three weeks.

Kansas News Service/File photo

TOPEKA — Republican lawmakers in Kansas moved Wednesday to give the GOP-controlled Legislature's leaders the final say over how federal coronavirus relief funds are spent.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to include legislative oversight of the distribution of $1.25 billion in federal funds in a broader measure that's likely also to curb Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's power to direct the state's coronavirus response.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Starting Friday, Kansans can gather in slightly larger groups, take in a movie, go to an art museum and bowl a few frames.

But concerts, festivals, summer camps and parades will remain shut down. And you still won’t be able to get a drink at a bar.

At a news conference Tuesday a day before a meeting with President Donald Trump in the White House, Gov. Laura Kelly announced another round of gradually eased restrictions aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19.

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

Kansas officials have decided to delay moving into Phase 2 of the state's reopening plan, holding off on opening bars, concert venues and movie theaters.

Kansans won’t have to wait another week to go to the gym or the barber shop, but your neighborhood bar and local movie theater will stay closed until further notice.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service/File photo

A top Republican legislator who worked with Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on a plan for expanding Medicaid in Kansas announced Friday that he is not seeking re-election.

Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning said it’s time for him to focus again on his wife and business. The Overland Park Republican is the retired CEO of an eye care and optical surgery company and was expected to have a tough re-election race this year.

Stephen Koranda file photo

TOPEKA — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's top Republican legislative critic has launched an effort to curb the governor's power in emergencies, impose oversight over the spending of federal aid and force Kelly to provide tax relief to struggling businesses.

Kansas Department of Corrections

Gov. Laura Kelly said Wednesday that she’s still considering releasing some Kansas inmates early because of the coronavirus pandemic even though an outbreak of hundreds of cases has one prison under quarantine.

Kelly confirmed last week during an Associated Press interview that the Department of Corrections moved six inmates from state to house arrest before being forced to stop early releases because of an outbreak at the Lansing Correctional Facility outside Kansas City. As of Wednesday, 609 inmates and 88 staff members there were infected.

TOPEKA, Kansas — With the number of new coronavirus cases still rising steadily and the state’s economy stuck in reverse, Gov. Laura Kelly announced her plans for a phased-in reopening.

The governor’s plan — essentially it lets retailers, restaurants and churches ease into a new normal — comes despite Kansas lagging other states in testing for COVID-19 and growing outbreaks clustered near meatpacking plants.

After six weeks of asking Kansans to stay at home, Gov. Laura Kelly is expected to announce Thursday that the state will start to reopen for businesses and some public gatherings on May 4.

Even if people can travel at-will and previously non-essential retailers can open their doors, the governor likely will leave some restrictions in place and maybe enact new rules.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Gov. Laura Kelly filed a joint motion this weekend with two churches suing her over stay-at-home orders, signaling her first steps to reopen the Kansas economy and tamp down the fight over religious freedom.

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