Friday, March 20, 2020

Welcome to the KDP Weekly Rundown – the Kansas Democratic Party’s update of the biggest things going on in the state party and the state government. What are we focused on this week? KDP update on COVID-19 and statewide precautions, COVID-19 exposes the need for Medicaid Expansion in Kansas, Republican Senators “play politics” with limits on Governor’s power, this week’s 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Results and more.

The KDP Team has released a 2020 Primary Toolkit for Democrats across Kansas! Please feel free to utilize the included resources to inform others about important dates and deadlines concerning the upcoming primary election. We will update the drive as we produce more graphics and informational content.

KDP STATEMENT ON COVID-19

  • The KDP issued the following statement on March 16, 2020:

    The Kansas Democratic Party wants to assure our members that we are following the lead of local, state, and federal health officials to address and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Our priority moving forward is to ensure the health, safety and security of all Kansans and as we make decisions about future KDP programming we will continue to act with complete transparency. We will continue to update our members as quickly as possible through our website, social media channels and to the press as necessary.

    In light of new COVID-19 campaigning practices, the KDP kicked off an email campaign this week urging Democrats to join its small dollar monthly giving program to help expand its reach while organizing communities statewide. Share this fundraising page with your contacts to ensure the KDP can deliver its message in new and accessible ways for the 2020 election cycle. 

COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS

What’s happening?

Governor Laura Kelly issued an emergency declaration for the State of Kansas in response to COVID-19. The declaration authorizes the use of state resources and personnel to assist with response and recovery operations in affected counties that meet certain criteria.

Governor Laura Kelly: Our state is well prepared. With this emergency declaration we can activate our response and coordinate fully. This is part of the process and will make access to important resources more accessible. We continue to work closely with our local, state and federal partners.

If you have symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath and believe you may have had contact or have had contact with someone with a laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider.

You may also call the KDHE phone bank at 1-866-534-3463 (1-866-KDHEINF) today Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information about COVID-19, visit KDHE’s website and Frequently Asked Questions at kdheks.gov/coronavirus/ and cdc.gov/coronavirus.

IMPACT OF COVID-19 IS EVIDENCE FOR MEDICAID EXPANSION IN KANSAS

What’s happening?

(The Kansas City Star) – For Medicaid expansion proponents, the coronavirus is the latest evidence that Kansas needs to increase eligibility for the program. As the virus sweeps the country, Kansas is one of just 14 states that hasn’t expanded.

Tens of thousands of residents live in a coverage gap, making too little to qualify for Medicaid but too much to receive subsidies for coverage in the federal exchange. April Holman, director of the pro-expansion Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, said those in the gap are less likely to have a primary care physician they can turn to if they become ill.

April Holman: We need every tool at our disposal to get through this unprecedented health and economic crisis. We need Medicaid expansion now more than ever. In the interest of the health, safety and economic well-being of all Kansans, we urge lawmakers to come back to Topeka when it is safe to do so and to pass Medicaid expansion.

AMID CORONAVIRUS CRISIS, KANSAS SENATE PLAYS POLITICS WITH LIMITS ON GOVERNOR’S POWER

What’s happening?

(The Kansas City Star, Editorial Board) –  Checks and balances are essential in government, and a rational discussion of the issue would be welcome once this crisis passes. It has not.

The resolution didn’t change any laws, by the way. It just said Kelly is prevented from using the power now on the books in the current crisis. It sent a horrible message that a worldwide disaster isn’t enough for lawmakers to put partisan politics aside.

At a time when our leaders should be working together to protect all Kansans, the state Senate is playing political games. Republicans will regret it, and Kansans should remember it.

2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY UPDATE

What’s happening?

(The New York Times) – Mr. Biden, the former vice president, won by wide margins in Florida and Illinois and also carried Arizona, sweeping the night and achieving a nearly insurmountable delegate lead.

(The New York Times) – Ms. Gabbard, who had been one of only three candidates and the only woman remaining in the Democratic primary, said she would throw her support to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has accumulated a nearly insurmountable lead in the delegate count.