Laura Kelly was sworn in on the south steps of the statehouse on Monday. Not long after that, the legislature began its session. Both the house and senate are controlled by Republicans.
Kelly said in her speech that many Kansans no matter of party want the same things: a fair livable wage, good healthcare, and a happy and safe future for their kids.
“We must seek to lift up all Kansans regardless of whether they look like us, think like us, worship like us, love like us or vote like us,” Kelly said.
She recalled how people she met at the Kansas Recreation and Park Association inspired her to a life of service.
“They are committed to making their communities better, one day at a time, one baseball game at a time, one theater performance at a time.”
That mindset is something some Republicans can get behind.
“I fully support service above self,” said Topeka Representative Brenda Dietrich. “To give everything that we’ve got to our positions. It’s not about us, it’s about our constituents, it’s about the people we represent.”
Dietrich believes Governor Kelly will be someone Republicans can work with.
“I know her to be an honest and fair person with integrity,” said Dietrich.
Kelly hopes the debate that happens in the statehouse can be civil going forward.
“We need to put down the partisan swords and lift up the values that unite us as Kansans because in a day and age when politics can seem so small we must be as big as the people who sent us here.”
In addition to Kelly and Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers, Secretary of State Scott Schwab, Attorney General Derek Schmidt, Treasurer Jake LaTurner, and Insurance Commissioner Vicki Schmidt were all sworn in today.