TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Governor Laura Kelly will conduct her “State of the State” address Tuesday night.
The annual address is normally held in the Kansas House of Representatives in front of lawmakers, press, and guests. However, this year, the speech will be made virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Although they won’t be able to see it in person, lawmakers on both sides are excited to hear what Kelly has to say. Rep. Jim Gartner (D-Topeka) said he hopes to hear about her budget proposal for this year.
“I’m hoping that we’re going to be in better shape fiscally going forward than what was originally projected,” Gartner said.
Gartner said he’s also hoping to hear a plan for economic growth in Kansas.
Freshman Sen. Kristen O’Shea said she is hoping to hear more about vaccine distribution.
“I hope to hear of a really efficient and effective plan for getting those vaccines out,” O’Shea said. “That’s been a challenge for Kansans right now, so I’d like to see a plan coming from the administration.”
O’Shea said she also hopes to hear a vision that both sides can get behind. KSNT Political Analyst Bob Beatty said he believes unity will be a key message.
“It’s going to be very difficult for her to get much done if she doesn’t have some Republican support,” Beatty said. “She doesn’t need the vast majority of Republicans, but she does need some blocks of Republicans.”
In November, Republicans expanded their veto proof majority in the Kansas Statehouse. This means, if they vote together, Republicans can override a veto from Governor Kelly.