Friday, May 22, 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? Governor Kelly announces the beginning of phase 2.0 to safely reopen Kansas, GOP leadership in the KS Legislature tries to undermine Governor Kelly while putting Kansans at risk, GOP leadership in KS Legislature kills Medicaid expansion during a pandemic, Kansas campaign updates, the Brownback Administration secretly withheld $21 million in payments to foster care providers, and Trump’s inadequate response to COVID-19.

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GOV. KELLY ANNOUNCES THE BEGINNING OF “PHASE 2.0” TO SAFELY REOPEN KANSAS

What’s happening?

(KWCH 12) – Governor Laura Kelly announced Tuesday that Kansas will move forward with a modified Phase 2 reopening beginning Friday, May 22.

Mass gathering limits will be increased to 15 people or fewer and all businesses except bars, nightclubs or swimming pools will be allowed to reopen.

The governor said bowling alleys, theaters, arcades, trampoline parks, museums and businesses deemed indoor-leisure, can reopen in this modified phase. State-owned casinos may also reopen as long as they follow guidelines from the KDHE and CDC. 

GOP LEADERSHIP IN KS LEGISLATURE TRIES TO UNDERMINE GOVERNOR KELLY WHILE PUTTING KANSANS AT RISK

What’s happening?

(Topeka Capital-Journal) – Kansas legislators pulled the curtain on the 2020 session after a tedious and combative 24-hour workday that ended early Friday with passage of restrictions on Gov. Laura Kelly’s authority to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and extension of the state’s emergency declaration through the end of the month.

GOP LEADERSHIP IN KS LEGISLATURE KILLS MEDICAID EXPANSION DURING A PANDEMIC

What’s happening?

(The Topeka Capital-Journal) – The Senate blocked a proposal Thursday endorsed by Kelly to expand Medicaid to 130,000 low-income Kansans. The measure broadening eligibility failed amid the COVID-19 pandemic infecting more than 8,500 Kansans and killing 178 of the state’s residents.

(The Wichita Eagle) – “Another legislative session has come to a close without passage of KanCare expansion,” said a statement from April Holman, executive director of the alliance. “A small group of House and Senate leaders have left tens of thousands of Kansans without access to affordable health care in the midst of a global pandemic.”

KANSAS CAMPAIGN UPDATES: U.S. SENATE, U.S. HOUSE

U.S. Senate Race – What’s happening?

(Associated Press) – On Thursday, Abrams announced that she was backing Democratic candidates in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Barbara Bollier, a Kansas physician and state senator who switched from the GOP in 2018, is “uniquely qualified to help address the disparities dividing America,” including on affordable health care, said Abrams, who is planning to hold virtual campaign events for each of the candidates getting her backing.

(Kansas City Star Editorial Board) – If Dr. Roger Marshall, the Kansas congressman who is running for the U.S. Senate, wanted to copy the president by wearing weirdly long neckties or mainlining Diet Coke or throwing around exclamation points, that would be his own darn business.

But for a physician to recommend risky behavior by ignoring all warnings against hydroxychloroquine, a drug with serious side effects, just to show how Trump-like he is? That’s no harmless genuflection.

“I would encourage any person over the age of 65 or with an underlying medical condition to talk to their own physician about taking hydroxychloroquine and I’m relieved President Trump is taking it,” Marshall told The Wall Street Journal.

U.S. House Races – What’s happening?

(Topeka Capital Journal) – A national political action committee dedicated to eroding influence of corporate dark money and to deterring voter suppression on Monday plans to endorse Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla’s candidacy for the U.S. House in the 2nd District.

BROWNBACK ADMINISTRATION SECRETLY WITHHELD $21 MILLION IN PAYMENTS TO FOSTER CARE PROVIDERS

(Topeka Capital-Journal) – The Kansas Department for Children and Families from 2016 to 2018 secretly withheld millions in payments to private operators of the state foster care system, propelling them toward financial ruin and directly contributing to the suffering of kids in state custody.

TRUMP’S INADEQUATE AND CHAOTIC REPONSE TO COVID-19

What’s happening?

Trump ignored warnings, downplayed the severity of this crisis, and failed to prepare for months, allowing the coronavirus to spread rapidly and undetected. Now we’re paying the price.

Onward,
KDP Team

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