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Governor unveils economic plan as Kan. recovers from pandemic



TOPEKA, Kan. — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly unveiled on Thursday an economic development plan that aims to provide a blueprint for the state’s future as it looks to the new normal after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dubbed the Kansas Framework for Growth, the plan was lauded as the first of its kind in more than 30 years. It was showcased in a virtual announcement joined by two of the state’s former governors, Democrat John Carlin and Republican Mike Hayden.

Work on drafting the plan began in late 2019, but the new challenges brought on by the pandemic created an urgent need to rethink an approach with the flexibility to respond to ever-changing economic conditions, its supporters said.

Kelly called it a “bold plan” to address current and future challenges, saying it takes a long-range view of the headwinds facing Kansas and lays out a set strategy and initiatives to guide state level economic development for decades to come.

“This strategic plan takes a forward thinking, nimble approach to encouraging economic growth and prosperity, particularly when it comes to recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kelly said.

Its key initiatives are based on four pillars: talent, innovation, community assets, and policy.