Gov. Laura Kelly approves $65 million for Kansas coronavirus response, signs state budget

KNSS News
March 25, 2020 - 3:35 pm
Kansas Capitol

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Kansas Governor Laura Kelly on Wednesday has signed Senate Bill 66, the state’s budget bill for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021. The budget includes $65 million for COVID-19 response efforts in Kansas.

“I appreciate the bipartisan work of lawmakers to approve a budget swiftly in the midst of an unprecedented global public health pandemic,” said Kelly. “I particularly commend legislators for approving $65 million to help support our coronavirus response efforts in Kansas.”

While Kelly applauded legislators’ work, she warned against adding any unnecessary new spending when the Legislature returns for its annual wrap up session in April. After excluding coronavirus-related expenditures, the Kansas Legislature spent over $100 million more from the State General Fund than Kelly initially recommended in January, with another $100 million in potential enhancements delayed until the omnibus budget.

“Practically overnight, the coronavirus pandemic caused upheaval in the stock market, shuttered businesses, disrupted supply chains, and cast uncertainty on our economic future,” Kelly said. “We’ve never experienced anything this sudden and severe in our lifetimes. As we get a handle on our new reality, I urge the Legislature to join me in showing fiscal restraint when they return for the annual wrap up session. It is critical that we act with utmost caution until we get a better sense of what the true budget implications of coronavirus will be.”

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