Laura Kelly

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.

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.

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.

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