Kelly bypasses lawmakers to create child advocate office

Gov. Laura Kelly created an office to review complaints against the state's child welfare policies, bypassing Republican efforts to create such an office under the attorney general.

By

State News

October 5, 2021 - 10:35 AM

Gov. Laura Kelly.(TIM CARPENTER/KANSAS REFLECTOR)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday created an independent office to review complaints against Kansas’ foster care system and recommend changes in child welfare policies, a longtime goal of advocates for abused and neglected children.

The Democratic governor’s move to create the office by executive order bypasses the Republican-controlled Legislature. It deadlocked on the issue earlier this year after some lawmakers pushed to put the new office under the GOP official expected to challenge Kelly’s reelection next year.

Kelly issued an order to create the Division of Child Advocate within the state Department of Administration, whose head reports to the governor. The governor would appoint the new division’s director for a five-year term.

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