GOP leaders close to control over Kansas’ COVID relief funds

Capitol Bureau

Kansas state Sen. Kellie Warren, R-Leawood, speaks during a Senate debate on legislation dealing with COVID-19, Tuesday, May 4, 2021, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Warren is the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and is pushing a proposal to set aside up to $2 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds to compensate businesses hurt by the pandemic. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican legislators are poised to give their leaders the final say over how Kansas spends federal coronavirus relief funds.

Some also pushed Tuesday to set aside nearly $2 billion of that money for small businesses.

The Republican-controlled state Senate is expected to override Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of a provision in budget legislation leaving to top lawmakers the final decisions on spending $4.8 billion in federal funds.

The GOP-controlled House voted 86-38 on Monday to overturn the veto.

The Senate also is considering a bill to set aside nearly $1 billion of the state’s COVID-19 relief funds another $1 billion earmarked for cities and counties to compensating small businesses.

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