State of Emergency Declaration Extended

Legislators have signed off on Governor Laura Kelly’s request to extend a state of emergency for the coronavirus pandemic.

Eight leaders of the Legislature, six of them Republicans, quickly and unanimously approved Kelly’s plan to extend the state of emergency until November 15th.

Under a law enacted in June, top lawmakers must consider an extension once a month.

Without their approval, the state of emergency would have expired October 15th, possibly hindering the ability of the state to move supplies and personnel around.

The meeting was in sharp contrast to one last month, when top Republican leaders extracted a public promise from Kelly not to try to close businesses statewide again as she did in the spring.

GOP leaders and the governor have been at odds for months over her handling of the pandemic, and forced her to accept local control over mandating mask-wearing, reopening schools, and restricting businesses and public gatherings.