Governor Kelly vetoes GOP COVID relief plan for businesses

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In this Monday, May 17, 2021, photo, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly tours a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for students aged 12 through 15 set up in a gym at Topeka High School in Topeka, Kan. The Democratic governor is under increasing pressure to end an extra $300 a week in benefits for unemployed workers, with critics of the aid arguing that businesses are having problems hiring enough workers because of it. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly has vetoed a Republican proposal to set aside hundreds of millions of the federal coronavirus relief dollars received by Kansas to compensate small businesses.

The plan Kelly rejected Friday was meant to help businesses that faced restrictions earlier in the pandemic.

Kelly said she is not opposed to compensating businesses after the state, cities or counties forced them to shut down or limited their operations. But she said the GOP plan’s process for paying claims wasn’t open enough and the measure might violate federal law.

Her action was certain to spark criticism from the Republican-controlled Legislature.

A Wichita gym owner played a part in pushing the measure through the legislature.

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