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COVID-19 Compromise Ends Divisive Session Of Kansas Legislature

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Nomin Ujiyediin
/
Kansas News Service
Hundreds of protesters gathered at the Statehouse on April 25 in opposition to Governor Laura Kelly’s COVID-19 containment policies.

The 2020 session of the Kansas Legislature is in the books.

Disputes between Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and Republican legislative leaders over her handling of efforts to check the spread of the virus dominated a session cut short by the pandemic and sparked protests at the Statehouse.

Republican efforts to rein in the governor’s emergency powers resulted in a rare special session that produced a compromise. It preserved Kelly’s authority to deal with the public health emergency but gave lawmakers more oversight over her actions and $1.2 billion in federal COVID-19 relief money.

Jim McLean is an editor and reporter for KCUR 89.3. He is the managing director of KCUR's Kansas News Service, a collaboration between KCUR and other public media stations across Kansas.