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Press Release: Kansas GOP calls out Laura Kelly’s State of the State claim

The facts don’t back up her self-congratulating speech

TOPEKA, KS – Governor Laura Kelly made a lot of bold and inaccurate claims during her State of the State address, but this particular excerpt was jarring:

“I also welcome and thank my Cabinet Secretaries who are seated behind me in the west gallery. The COVID-19 pandemic brought challenges for every agency – and I could not have asked for a better, more prepared team. They have not only faced those challenges head-on, but each of them has steered their agency to be more fiscally responsible, more nimble, more efficient, and more responsive than ever before.”

Does Governor Kelly’s so-called “prepared” team include the KDHE Secretary she unceremoniously fired because her chief of staff was worried he would jeopardize her re-election?

Or the revolving door of Labor Secretaries who mismanaged the Department so poorly that it squandered $700 million in taxpayer dollars to fraudsters overseas while unemployed Kansans couldn’t access the benefits they desperately needed? Laura Kelly’s unemployment crisis was so bad that even Democrat Congresswoman Sharice Davids and the Kansas City Star Editorial Board called out the governor. 

Our questions for Laura Kelly:

“Laura Kelly had the audacity to describe her cabinet – which produced one of the worst economic and unemployment recoveries in the country – as “prepared” and “responsive” during the pandemic,” said  Kansas Republican Party Executive Director Shannon Pahls. “There is nothing fiscally responsible about losing $700 million to fraudsters while unemployed Kansans struggled to get the assistance they desperately needed, or crushing one-third of all Kansas small businesses due to lockdowns. Thousands of Kansans couldn’t put food on the table due to her Department of Labor’s ineptitude, and she points the finger while claiming success. Kansans are still suffering every day due to Laura Kelly’s incompetence and total failure navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.”