Kansas Lawmakers Push Past Midnight to Conclude Legislative Session - State and Federal Communications

May 22, 2020  •  

Kansas Lawmakers Push Past Midnight to Conclude Legislative Session

Kansas Capitol Building

Nearly five hours after the midnight deadline to adjourn, the Kansas legislature worked to approve legislation that would end the 2020 session on May 22.

Lawmakers gathered on May 21 for a one-day close to the legislative session, but Republicans in the house voted to continue past midnight.

The final bill on their agenda is centered around the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill curbs Gov. Laura Kelly’s emergency powers and gives more oversight to the legislature. It also gives the Legislative Coordinating Council appropriation power over the $1.25 billion in federal money. Originally, this money was allocated to Kansas in the CARES Act.

On the issue of disaster declarations, the bill extends Gov. Kelly’s current declaration from May 26 until the 31st.

Gov. Kelly would also be barred from issuing a new COVID-19 disaster declaration. To avoid this, at least six members of the State Finance Council would need to sign off on it.

The final parts of the bill continue some of Gov. Kelly’s executive orders, including on the sale of alcohol and telemedicine.

Lawmakers also passed legislation that would waive penalties and interest on late property taxes, a package of education bills, and an economic recovery loan program.

All legislation is now headed to Gov. Kelly’s desk. She can either sign the bills into law, veto them, or the bills would become law after 10 days without her signature.

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