Kelly, State Finance Council Reach Accord

A mostly Republican state council voted Friday to extend Democratic Governor Laura Kelly’s emergency declaration providing services to combat the coronavirus in Kansas, but only after language was added clarifying that the governor doesn’t intend to use her authority to close businesses as she did in the spring.

The State Finance Council’s unanimous vote came after a lengthy, contentious meeting during which Kelly and the GOP members accused each other of playing politics with the declaration.

The resolution, which had been scheduled to expire Tuesday, will now be in effect until at least October 31, when Kelly could seek another extension.

Kelly warned before the vote that letting the declaration expire would stop the state from providing many services, including the delivery of personal protective equipment and assistance with community-based testing.

Republican members insisted on stipulating that the extension had to clarify that Kelly would not close businesses as she did in April.