TOPEKA — Senate President Ty Masterson announced Tuesday that GOP legislative leaders would force an end to the state’s emergency declaration for COVID-19 by refusing to meet and consider an extension.
The decision means the 15-month emergency will expire at the end of Tuesday, abruptly ending executive orders and stressing the state’s ability to distribute vaccines.
Masterson, an Andover Republican, ignored overtures from Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly, who hoped to keep the declaration in place to allow for a smooth transition to normal operations. The governor asked the Legislative Coordinating Council to extend the emergency declaration for 30 days, and indicated it would take until Aug. 30 to transfer duties from the Kansas National Guard to other agencies.