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Contact Susan

 
In Topeka:
State Capitol, Room 149-S
785-296-7644
susan@concannonforkansas.com

At home in Beloit:
921 N. Mill Street
Beloit, KS 67420
785-738-8087
susan@concannonforkansas.com


About the 107th

Committee Appointments

Dear Friend:

As some states are re-opening, Kansas cases continue to rise with clusters in counties with packing plants, primarily Finney and Ford, as well as significant infection at the Lansing Prison and the VA Hospital. 
  • The prison is locked down while all inmates are tested because early tests showed a 75% of confirmed cases there were asymptomatic.
  • From last Thursday to today, we’ve had more than 1,756 new cases diagnosed, which is double the number from two weeks ago. 
When will you feel comfortable returning to Business As Usual?
Governor Laura Kelly's Address

If you were unable to tune into Governor Laura Kelly’s address this evening, here’s the full speech. In sum, the disaster declaration is extended, which helps us continue to receive federal support. A new Executive Order was issued ending the stay-at-home order at 11:59 am on Sunday, May 3, and launching a 3-phase reopening plan. Specific guidance for individuals, businesses, entertainment, venues, restrictions will be scaled back at each point, but will not all happen at the same time. These are all subject to local extension. Each phase is ~14 days unless more is needed. 
Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen KANSAS

The governor mentioned the CDC recently doubled the list of symptoms of the disease, and that researchers estimate 20-50% of cases are asymptomatic. These people do not know they are carriers and proceed infecting others. 
Phase 1: May 4-May 18 (at earliest). Stay at home order is lifted. Mass gatherings still limited to 10 or less, unless able to retain 6’ social distancing.
  1. Avoid any instances in which groups of more than 10 individuals are in one location and unable to maintain 6’ distance.
    1. Businesses which can keep 6’ distance between groups of customers can open. Restaurants can solve this by expanding distance between seated customers.
    2. Industry-specific guidelines are detailed in covid.ks.gov
  2. Businesses still closed:
    1. Bars and nightclubs except for carryout and curbside services
    2. Casinos
    3. Theaters, museums, other indoor entertainment (trampoline parks, arcades, etc.)
    4. Fitness centers and gyms
    5. Salons: nails, barbers, hair, tanning, tattoo, and other personal services where close contact cannot be avoided.
  3. Education Limitations:
    1. K-12 still closed
    2. Higher education closed for in-person learning/events.
    3. Childcare is still available subject to state and local rules.
    4. Activities can open if they can maintain 6’ distance between individuals.
  4. Community still closed:
    1. Community centers
    2. Entertainment venues
    3. Fairs, festivals, parades, etc. (proms, graduations)
    4. Public or private pools (not backyard, personal pools)
    5. Organized sports tournaments
    6. Summer camps
Phase 2: May 18 (at earliest)-June 1. Mass gatherings up to 30 people allowed.
  1. Fitness centers, salons can open, provided they follow industry-specific guidelines.
  2. Casinos can open if they can follow KDHE guidelines.
  3. Restaurants: Can open at 50% of total capacity, in addition to curbside and carryout.
  4. Prohibited: Large venues and events under community limitations above.
Phase 3: June 1 (at earliest) - Mass gatherings expanded to 90 individuals 
  1. All other events open if they can follow guidelines.
  2. This phase will end in an anticipated full phase-out by June 15.
Unknowns:
  1. K-12 and college school plans in August
  2. Election plans in August and November
Not In Cement
Keep in mind this situation continues to evolve and Governor Kelly called this “a living document” which is subject to ongoing analysis. As we learn more about the disease, see more trends, and circumstances arise, the state will continue to be flexible in order to protect all Kansans, with a bias toward local control, recognizing varying needs across the state.
 
These changes do not mean we go back to our pre-COVID normal. Frequent handwashing, basic social distancing, wearing masks when possible, generous hand sanitizer use, and reconsideration of the basics of our physical environment will be necessary. It might be a while before you shake a new acquaintance’s hand.
Additional Services
Are you an essential worker with childcare needs?
Funds are available to both help parents, who have essential jobs, pay for their daycare as well as funds for daycare providers to help pay for sterilizing supplies. Check out the Kansas Hero Relief Program for more information: http://ksherorelief.com/
 
What does this mean for elections?
Some counties are mailing every voter an application to receive a ballot by mail. In case our counties do not do that, please click here to get a form. Anyone can vote by mail, but you must request a mailed ballot for each election. Ballots will be mailed 20 days before each election: July 15 and October 14.
Legislative Delay
The Kansas Legislature was set to convene for Veto Session on Monday, April 27. Due to the stay-at-home order extension to May 3, the legislature has postponed at least through May 6, pending a decision by the Legislative Coordinating Council (LCC), which includes the Republican and Democrat leadership teams from the House and Senate. Article 2 of the Kansas Constitution denotes the legislature must meet in the capital. Here’s the twist:
  • When addressing the actual building, the following is correct: Capitol (capital C, and an o). 
  • The word capital (small c, and an a) refers to the capital city. 
  • In sum, legislators could in theory all go to Topeka and join a Zoom call. 
  • Creativity and flexibility are key in this new normal! I will keep you apprised of what is decided.
Business News
Commerce Secretary David Toland shared in a conference call this week that the U.S. Senate passed and the House is expected also to pass another stimulus bill. The bill includes an additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which among the other business stimulus programs quickly ran out of funding in a matter of days – hours in some cases.
  • Of the first two stimulus bills, 26,000 Kansas businesses got funding, and we were #9 out of 50 states in PPP funding per capita. 
  • This is in large part due to the hard work of our Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) across the state and their proactive work to get Kansas businesses prepared to apply as soon as the funds became available. 
  • NOT FUNDED? The Secretary encourages businesses to contact their lenders now to be ready and at the front of the line when the new money is authorized. 
Does your company make PPE or other critical needs items, or are you considering switching to add new product lines to meet this demand? The Department of Commerce has been working with BioKansas to provide an inventory of these companies and products. Visit the BioKansas Supply Hub to let them know what you make or would like to make.
Employment
If you are unemployed, please take a moment to review more than 2,100 positions listed on the state’s COVID-19 jobs site, kansasworks.com/coronavirus, where employers need to fill jobs now to meet the urgent needs specific to the crisis. 
Federal Aid
Kansas is set to receive about $1.2 billion from the federal stimulus packages. Ironically, that is about the amount the revenue estimators say we will lose in taxes during this time. However, the state is awaiting more specific information on how the money can be spent. Much of it will go to help health care providers finance extra personal protective equipment (PPE) purchases and other COVID-19 related unanticipated expenses. 
  • Some of these funds will be targeted to economic development grants and loans for our communities. I encourage our eco devo teams across the district to have creative plans ready to propose when the funds are available. 
Today's summary of cases:
Additionally, as mentioned above, the state has consolidated its COVID information into one handy website for health, business, unemployment, and other assistance: COVID.ks.gov.
Please stay home and stay safe!

Sincerely,

Rep. Susan Concannon
R-Beloit
Copyright © 2020 Paid for by Concannon for Kansas, Tamarah Pruitt, Treasurer, All rights reserved.


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