Kansas offers up to $100M to spare towns from ruin over gas bills

State lawmakers have passed legislation to give $100 in low-interest loans to cities facing financial crises after last month's bitterly cold temperatures prompted ruinous utility bills to those communities. Humboldt is among the towns in dire straits.

By

State News

March 4, 2021 - 9:44 AM

Treasurer Lynn Rogers and Amanda Stanley, who represents the League of Kansas Municipalities, appear at a committing hearing Wednesday. Photo by (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Kansas lawmakers moved with lightning speed Wednesday to pass legislation providing $100 million in low-interest loans to cities facing high utility bills as a result of last month’s extreme cold.

The House and Senate endorsed the plan on the same day the bill received its first hearing, and sent it to Gov. Laura Kelly. The governor said she would sign it into law before she goes home, providing immediate relief to towns across the state who risk losing access to natural gas for heat and power if they don’t pay astronomical bills next week.

“Like all small-town rural America, we just cannot withstand an economic event like we have just been dealt,” said Chris Komarek, city administrator for Ellinwood, population 2,100, in a letter seeking help from lawmakers.

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