Exit Strategy: Some lawmakers say Gov. Kelly doesn’t have way to end Kansas’ emergency order

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In this Monday, May 17, 2021, photo, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly tours a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for students aged 12 through 15 set up in a gym at Topeka High School in Topeka, Kan. The Democratic governor is under increasing pressure to end an extra $300 a week in benefits for unemployed workers, with critics of the aid arguing that businesses are having problems hiring enough workers because of it. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. — Top Republican legislators are serving notice that they’re preparing to end the state of emergency in Kansas for the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter they accuse Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly of having no “exit strategy.”

Eight of the GOP-controlled Legislature’s leaders on Friday approved an extension of the state of emergency until June 15. That’s shorter than Kelly wanted. She asked for the emergency order to be extended 30 days, to June 27. The 30 day extension is the longest the law allows at one time.

Democrats say it’s still too early to end the state of emergency.

It allows executive orders to be in place as well as the emergency operations center to coordinate a statewide effort to fight coronaviruses.

Legislative leaders also voted to end Gov. Kelly’s executive order banning certain evictions. It’s a move that Democrats don’t support.

“This decision is cruel and punitive, bad for our recovering workforce, and devastating for vulnerable families,” Vicki Hiatt, Chair of the Kansas Democratic Party, said. “Kansans will remember that when they needed help the most, Republicans turned their backs to score cheap political points.”

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