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Kansas Gov. Kelly plans to continue extra COVID-19 food aid

Governors plead for food stamp flexibility amid pandemic
Posted at 5:58 PM, Jun 29, 2021

TOPEKA, Kan. — Gov. Laura Kelly and her top welfare official moved Tuesday to keep thousands of families from losing extra food aid because Kansas is no longer under a state of emergency for the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement that Kelly plans to continue the extra $14.5 million a month in aid came two weeks after top Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature ended the state of emergency.

The Democratic governor's chief of staff had told reporters that the extra aid tied to the pandemic would be cut off once the state of emergency expired June 15, but Republican leaders had argued that the state could continue to manage its response to the pandemic without an emergency declaration.

The extra aid goes to about 63,000 households and provides an average of $230 a month.

Laura Howard, the top administrator at the state Department for Children and Families, said the federal government promised to continue providing the money for the extra benefits, possibly through the end of the year.

Kelly directed the department to continue the extra benefits, and Howard issued the necessary administrative order.