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Gov. Kelly vetoed a proposal to set aside hundreds of millions of Kansas’ federal coronavirus relief dollars to compensate small businesses that faced restrictions earlier in the pandemic



Lawrence, KS – According to the statement, Gov. Kelly said that the measure was well-intentioned, but violated a federal coronavirus relief law enacted in March.

Gov. Kelly also suggested that Kansas already has a more transparent process for giving out relief funds through a task force she created last year.

Gov. Kelly said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges for Kansas businesses. My administration has been committed to doing all we can to support their continued pandemic recovery efforts.”

Her veto sparked criticism in the Republican-controlled Legislature, particularly from conservatives who’ve argued for months that state and local government restrictions on businesses were too harsh and applied unfairly.

Supporters of the bill were short of the two-thirds majorities in both chambers necessary to override a veto when the bill passed earlier this month because Republicans were split and Democrats opposed the measure.

The vetoed bill would require the state, cities and counties to set aside as business aid part of the federal relief funds that aren’t designated for a specific purpose. Lawmakers and others estimated during legislative debates that the figure would be roughly $500 million.