When coronavirus hit the state it was clear major steps needed to be taken quickly. Governor Kelly declared a state of emergency, which opened
up resources to combat the virus and slow its spread. House Concurrent Resolution 5025 passed the House swiftly, without protest: “ratifying and providing the continuation of the March 12, 2020 state of emergency declaration for the State of Kansas” until January of 2021.
When HCR 5025 reached the Senate, Republicans amended the resolution in a clear attempt to restrict the
Governor’s powers. The final version of HCR 5025 looked quite different than the original.
The legislature also passed an unemployment insurance extension bill. It passed with bipartisan support. In Kansas, unemployment ends
after 16 weeks. This bill extended those benefits to 26 weeks, while eliminating the waiting period before someone can receive unemployment benefits.
A budget bill passed before the legislature adjourned — the one constitutional requirement of the Kansas legislature each session. Normally it’s a lengthy process. However with the rapid spread of COVID-19 and concern for legislators’ and Kansans’ safety, this year resulted in quick action.