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Kansas Governor Kelly Focused On Vaccination Not 'Another Unnecessary Battle' Over Mask Mandate

Celia Llopis-Jepsen
Kansas News Service

Governor instead working on motivating Kansans to take advantage of state's plentiful supply of vaccines.

Of great concern to Governor Laura Kelly is protecting Kansas children too young to be vaccinated by convincing those who can get the shot to do so.

As Kelly and her administration continue working to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state, the governor is tackling other issues as well.

Kelly wants to get Medicaid expanded realizing that it is "an incredibly popular issue" that she sees as good for constituents and good for the state. She views medical marijuana as another topic attractive to Kansans, so much so that she proposed it as a means for funding the Medicaid expansion.

The governor is also committed to moving forward on planning for improving infrastructure throughout Kansas including increased broadband access. Kelly is cautious about the state's $1.9 billion budget surplus, observing that "a lot of this is probably one-time money" fueled by stimulus funds that came in 2020. Nevertheless, she wants to work with the legislature to see if it can't be the base for "targeted, conservative tax-relief programs that we could put into place and that we could sustain over time."

Kelly wants to ensure that Kansas is seen as a welcoming and inclusive place by its young people so that they choose to stay in the state to work and raise their families. She also believes that it will also attract people from other parts of the country to settle in Kansas.

The future of the Big 12 athletic conference is also on Governor Kelly's radar. Realizing its economic impact, she acknowledges that a number of conversations are ongoing regarding steps that can be taken to preserve it noting, "We will be doing everything that we can to ensure that . . . K-State and KU are well protected within the conference."

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