As part of her efforts to build a better, more resilient economy in Kansas, Governor Laura Kelly today announced the bipartisan members of the executive committee of the second Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce.

The Taskforce, originally established in May 2020 to oversee the distribution of funds from the federal CARES Act, is charged with leading Kansas forward in continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Through the SPARK process, we have transparently and equitably allocated more than $1 billion in CARES Act funds to support businesses, keep Kansans healthy, improve access to broadband, and boost our economy,” Governor Kelly said. “I’m pleased to reignite the Taskforce this year to maintain that transparent process and show Kansans that we’re using these relief funds to make strategic investments where they are needed most.”  

Similar to the CARES funding distribution process, the Kansas Office of Recovery will again be responsible for the statewide distribution of federal coronavirus relief funds allocated to Kansas through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of March 2021.

A new and expanded seven-member executive committee will oversee the funding distribution process, assisted by an advisory committee with additional members. The advisory committee recommends investments to the executive committee, and the executive committee then makes recommendations to the State Finance Council, which makes the final determination.

Appointments to the advisory committee will be announced in the following weeks.

The members of the SPARK Executive Committee are as follows:

  • Lt. Governor David Toland – Chair
  • Secretary of Administration DeAngela Burns-Wallace – Governor’s Public Sector Appointee
  • Jon Rolph, Governor’s Private Sector Appointee
  • Speaker of the House Ron Ryckman
  • Senate President Ty Masterson
  • Greg Orman – Speaker Ryckman’s Appointee
  • Bill Pickert – President Masterson’s Appointee

“Through its combination of public and private partners, I know that the SPARK Taskforce will look past immediate COVID-19 recovery to build a better, more inclusive and resilient economy for future generations,” Governor Kelly said. “I want to thank these leaders for their willingness to serve.”