The following is attributable to Governor Laura Kelly regarding Senate Bill 273:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges for Kansas businesses over the last year, and my administration has been committed to doing all we can to support their continued pandemic recovery efforts through the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (“SPARK”) Taskforce. The SPARK process brings together business, legislative, and community leaders from across the state to collaborate on data-driven, innovative investments using federal relief dollars. All recovery initiatives should go through the transparent, federally compliant, bipartisan, and efficient process we have already established through the SPARK Taskforce.

“SB 273 is well-intentioned, but it violates federal rules for the use of American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) funds that prevent the state from placing conditions or requirements on local governments’ use of ARPA funds. SB 273 also fails to comply with federal rules that prohibit using ARPA funds to resolve potential legal claims against state or local governments.

“I am committed to working with the SPARK Taskforce to develop relief programs that comply with federal requirements to ensure that our economy emerges from this pandemic stronger and more agile than ever.  

“Therefore, under Article 2, Section 14(a) of the Constitution, I hereby veto Senate Bill 273.”