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Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly says education, Medicaid expansion will be priorities

Posted: 6:15 PM, Nov 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-08 19:15:59-05

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly has officially started the transition to the governor's office.

“I’m looking forward to a very smooth and efficient transition,” Kelly said Thursday at a news conference in Topeka, two days after winning the governor's race.

Kelly laid out her agenda for what she would like to accomplish during her term in office.

She said her main focus will be to increase funding for public schools. She also hopes to expand Medicaid in the state, though she said that will be a steeper hill to climb.

She said she believes these priorities will pay for themselves without having to raise taxes.

“As we reinvest in some of the things that are some of the biggest economic drivers in the state — our schools, our roads, Medicaid expansion — then we’re going to see the revenue base broaden without a need to raise taxes,” Kelly said.

Since Republicans control both houses of the Kansas Legislature, Kelly, a Democrat, stressed the need for bipartisanship on achieving those priorities.

“We will take the best ideas, no matter who they come from, and will work together to mend the damage done by the (former Gov. Sam) Brownback years,” Kelly said.

She also said that she favors what she called common sense gun controls and regulated medical marijuana.

Kelly will be inaugurated on Jan. 14.