Gov. Kelly responds to AG Schmidt

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Governor Kelly has responded to Attorney General Schmidt’s opinion and the Legislature’s actions today, Thursday, May 21.

Governor Laura Kelly says she welcomes an honest conversation about the Kansas Emergency Management Act.

Currently KEMA has been in place for almost 45 years and has helped many Kansans through natural disasters like tornadoes, fires and floods. KEMA was set in place to modernize several earlier emergency powers that were granted to governors after the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic.

Governor Kelly’s office says that the opinion of AG Derek Schmidt was not an honest conversation about KEMA due to the fact that the Attorney General released his opinion in the middle of the night right before the last day of the legislative season.

Currently the Legislature is trying to introduce multiple new pieces of legislation that has not been vetted by the public on a day that is traditionally a ceremonial end to the legislative season.

Governor Kelly says that she welcomes conversation on KEMA in a thoughtful manner that allows the public, local government officials and emergency managers to weigh in as well. Governor Kelly will continue to implement her bipartisan approach, which received praise from President Trump. She will continue to look for a non-political solution that serves all Kansans.