Governor Kelly’s virtual State of the State address

Capitol Bureau
Election 2018 Kansas Governor Kelly_1541732050572

Democrat Laura Kelly talks to the crowd at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center in Topeka, Kans., after she defeated Republican Kris Kobach Tuesday night to become the next Kansas governor. (Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP, KSN) — Governor Laura Kelly conducted her virtual “State of the State” address Tuesday evening. The annual address is normally held in the Kansas House of Representatives in front of lawmakers, press, and guests. However, this year, the speech was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Governor Kelly told fellow Kansas residents that her usual yearly call for bipartisanship is not enough in light of last week’s mob violence in Washington and said the state’s leaders “must commit ourselves to set an example.”

Governor Kelly focused much of the annual State of the State address Tuesday night on the COVID-19 pandemic and avoided outlining broad new initiatives outside of promising to push again for Medicaid expansion.

The Democratic governor turned near the end of her speech to the failed insurrection last week in which extremist supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol. She said: “This isn’t like any other moment.”

Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman, R-Olathe, released the following statement in response to the Governor’s State of the State Address. “The governor talked a lot about vaccines, unemployment and the economy. But actions speak louder than words. On Laura Kelly’s watch, our state lags behind in vaccinations, hasn’t been able to deliver benefits to unemployed Kansans, and has fallen behind other states in economic growth. Kansans are tired of excuses and ready for action.”

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