Gov. Kelly invokes spirit of civility in second term

Gov. Kelly called for a spirit of civility as she began her second term.
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 8:45 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topekans and state officials alike have started to gear up for Inauguration Day in the Capital City.

Crews started to prepare the Kansas Statehouse well before 8:20 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 9, for the inauguration of Governor Laura Kelly for her second term. The festivities will culminate in the swearing-in of the Governor on the steps on the south side of the building at noon.

Innovation, unity and prosperity banners waved over the steps to signal key themes for the Governor’s second term. Kelly invokes the spirit of civility in launching her second term

Gov. Laura Kelly implored state leaders to maintain a tone of civility as they work to make Kansas the best place in the nation to raise a family.

Kelly called that goal our “north star” in remarks marking her second inaugural. She and other statewide elected leader, Court of Appeals and Supreme Court justices, and State Board of Education members took their oaths under sunny skies during Monday’s noon-time ceremony at the Statehouse.

The Governor commented on the weather to begin her remarks, likening the “gray and gloomy” day when she first took office four years ago, calling it “a reflection of where we were as a state.” By contrast, she said the future for Kansas is now “warm and sunny.”

Kelly called the past four years unlike any other with the dawn of the COVID crisis.

“From a public health crisis, the likes of which we have never seen, rose a spirit of togethering, the likes of which we’ve never seen,” she said.

Kelly applauded the healthcare workers, educators, meat plant workers, and neighbors who set politics aside to find solutions to challenges, from crowded hospitals to internet access for students.

However, Kelly noted the divisiveness that has permeated the national scene.

“We cannot let the hostility and anger that has poisoned our national politics to spread here to Kansas. A politics where disagreements turn into violence,” she said. “We should all agree - now is the time to turn down the volume. It is civility that enables collaboration.”

Kelly said, over the past four years, finding common ground has allowed Kansas to fully fund schools, provide tax relief, and fix roads and bridges.

While the future is bright, Kelly said work remains to ensure strong public schools, continued business expansion and respect for Kansas farmers.

“We want families to choose Kansas as a place to lay down roots to call home,” she said. “Let us be guided by civility and kindness, even when we disagree.”

Kelly said she will lay out her proposals in more detail in Wednesday’s State of the State address.

Also taking their oaths Monday were new Attorney General Kris Kobach; new State Treasurer Steven Johnson; and Insurance Commissioner Vicki Schmidt and Secretary of State Scott Schwab, who were re-elected to their positions. In addition, Lt. Gov. David Toland took his oath of office. Lynn Rogers was Kelly’s running mate for her first election.