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Governor Kelly: ‘Everybody has to be held accountable’

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – KSN’s Bret Buganski and Kansas Governor Laura Kelly discussed concerns from viewers in a special report Thursday where they covered a range of topics — from problems filing for unemployment to whether kids will be in the classroom this fall.

Many Kansans feel the way the state is handling unemployment isn’t good enough, to which Governor Kelly said, “everybody has to be held accountable.”

The governor acknowledged her administration is accountable for the problems with the outdated unemployment filing system.

Bill Keeney from Wichita lost his IT job during the pandemic.

“I had three months worth of savings just like everybody saved for an emergency back up and now here it is, June 1st is coming up, and I am dead broke,” he said.

When the governor was asked what she has to say to people like Bill who are continuing to struggle trying to get unemployment, she responded, “There are a lot of him out there, and I know that. It has gotten better. I know for each individual who has not been able to get through, it doesn’t feel better. But the fact of the matter is, they’ve been able to respond to exponentially more than what they were able to do before.”

While the state beefed up workers in unemployment to handle the increased call volume, the governor said even with a modern system there would be problems. Continued unemployment claims rose more than 1,200% from one year ago today.

Cindy Carpenter from Andover shared her concern about whether it is really going to benefit the kids to stay home to learn from home and if they’re going to miss that in-class interaction. Cindy is worried her children are going to suffer next school year.

In response to Cindy’s concerns, Governor Kelly said she’s optimistic kids will go back to school in the fall.

“There may be some modifications and approaches with distancing, maybe masks,” she said.

When asked, “What is the guidance from the state when it comes to these church gatherings?”

“I discourage mass gatherings, right now the limit is 10 — we’ll be moving up to 15 as of Friday,” Gov. Kelly said.

While the governor continues to cite data and science as reasons for why some places can open and others can’t — not all Kansans share her stance. Debbie Detmer of Shawnee shared her concern that her rights to gather in churches have been taken away. To her, it’s government overreach.

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