Battle brews over how to spend COVID relief funds


TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A big political battle is brewing over whether top Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature will have the final say over how the state spends more than $4.8 billion it expects to receive from the latest federal COVID-19 relief package.

The move comes as elected officials voted Thursday to drop mask mandates in Johnson and Riley counties in coming days.  Masks have been part of an ongoing fight that has pitted Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly against the GOP-controlled Legislature.

This week, Kelly vetoed a provision in a spending bill that would have given legislative committees more power over how to allocate federal relief funds.

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