Democrats warn Republicans proposal to curb power could hamper future emergencies


This computer screen capture from Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s page on Facebook shows her giving the annual State of the State address, Tuesday, Kan., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, in Topeka, Kan. Kelly says that given the recent mob violence in Washington, the state’s leaders must “must commit ourselves to set an example” of working together. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A top aide to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly warned Republican legislators Thursday that a proposal to curb the power of the governor and other Kansas officials could seriously hamper the state’s response to future public health emergencies.

Kelly’s chief of staff Will Lawrence also urged legislators to extend a state of emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawrence objected to key portions of a bill from the state Senate’s top Republicans that would rewrite the state’s emergency management laws.

He said the oversight by the attorney general and the Legislature required by the bill could delay a response to an emergency.

Republicans were skeptical of that argument.

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