Kansas Senate President responds to Gov. Kelly State of the State, speaks about ‘vision’ for 2021

Kansas Senate President responds to Gov. Kelly State of the State, speaks about ‘vision’ for 2021

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Kansas Senate President, Ty Masterson, spoke about his vision for 2021, in response to Governor Laura Kelly’s State of the State address Tuesday.

In a video, following the governor’s remarks, the newly-elected Senate President spoke about his goals to strengthen the economy and keep businesses open amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We trust Kansans to open their businesses and do so safely,” Masterson said. “In fact, the state should always be on the side of keeping businesses open, not letting unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats define who is essential and which of you is not.”

Gov. Kelly also spoke about the need to protect small businesses and other matters of the economy. The governor has put forward plans to launch a framework for economic growth, focusing on five key areas: small businesses, infrastructure, new job creation, agriculture and broadband.

“Each year in this speech, and almost every day in between, I call for bipartisanship,” Gov. Kelly said in her speech. “To work together, Democrats and Republicans have to do what’s best for Kansas.”

Both state leaders spoke of intentions to work across the aisle to help Kansans, with the governor calling on leaders to ‘set an example’ in working together amicably, in response to the U.S. Capitol riots.

However, some matters that Masterson voiced his disagreement with included issues related to coronavirus, specifically, the governor’s handling of enforcing safety protocols in the state.

“We trust you to make decisions for yourself and your family as to how best to stay safe,” Masterson said as he addressed Kansans. “We will not support the governor’s regime of unconstitutional mandates and edicts. We trust you will always make the best decisions for your family – not the government.”

The governor and Masterson both acknowledged the unprecedented amount of issues that state leaders are working through, including the economy, healthcare and unemployment.

During her speech, the governor provided coronavirus updates for the state, stating that as of Tuesday, 84,555 Kansans have been vaccinated and that the state is set to move into phase 2 of vaccination rollout, which includes people 65 and up, toward the end of the month. But the governor urged Kansans to continue following safety protocols as the vaccine is being rolled out.

“It’s imperative that everyone continue to do your part in slowing the spread of the virus – wear a mask, physically distance, and avoid mass gatherings,” Gov. Kelly said.

State leaders are set to continue hearings this week on how best to move forward with handling the pandemic.