Governor Laura Kelly announced today (Tuesday, May 26) she has vetoed HB 2054, the changes to the Kansas Emergency Management Act that Republican leadership wrote and passed with the intention of stripping the Governor of any authority in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.

“As I’ve said from day one, the safety and well-being of Kansans is my number one priority. What the Legislature sent to my desk does not protect Kansans. It does not help Kansans. It puts their lives at risk,” Kelly said. “I’m calling on the Legislature to come back and put a carefully crafted, bipartisan bill on my desk that will provide the resources Kansans need, in a timely manner. We must stop putting Kansans at risk.”

Governor Laura Kelly

The 78-page bill rammed through without debate under the leadership of Wagle, Denning and Ron Ryckman Jr., took Governor Kelly out of any say in how to disperse federal COVID-19 stimulus funds. It also stripped her of authority to declare emergencies without the approval of Kansas House and Senate leadership, weakened the ability of the state to implement statewide measures to protect the health of all Kansans, and provided broad liability immunity to businesses that reopen and ignore safety measures to reduce the spread of this deadly virus. You can read a summary of all the bill’s various provisions by CLICKING HERE. There, you can also find summaries of the education and tax bills passed at the same time.

Governor Kelly has called a special legislative session for June 3. Details on that session are not yet available. We will share them along with any “calls to action” that might be needed soon. We encourage you to keep your eyes and ears open and watch Under the Dome for more.