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Year in Review: Despite Pandemic, Kelly Administration Reaches Historic Accomplishments

Dec 30, 2020

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Governor Laura Kelly

TOPEKA – As 2020 ends, the Kelly Administration highlights progress made in Kansas despite unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we enter 2021, it’s important that we do not let the events of the last year be exclusively defined by hardship,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Due to good public policymaking and fiscally responsible decisions my administration has made from day one, our state has been able to weather the worst of COVID and protect the foundation that will keep Kansas on the path forward.”

Today, Governor Laura Kelly announced 2020 is officially the most successful year for new capital investment in the State of Kansas since the creation of the Kansas Department of Commerce.

As of this week, in 2020 alone, Governor Kelly’s administration has:

  • closed 131 projects in 2020, worth more than $2.5 billion in capital investment and
  • created and retained a total of 13,871 jobs.

Since Governor Kelly has been in office, her administration has:

  • closed 224 projects worth more than $3.8 billion in capital investment 
  • which promise to create and retain 26,661 jobs.

Economic Development: Governor Kelly’s administration remains committed to rebuilding Kansas’ economic foundation. In addition to reaching a historic, record breaking milestone, the Kelly administration has worked diligently to rebuild Kansas’ foundation:

  • SEPTEMBER: Governor Laura Kelly announced a new KANSASWORKS KanVet website to provide Kansas veterans specific resources and benefits on a one-stop webpage.
  • NOVEMBER: Governor Laura Kelly announced the creation of the Kansas Main Street Affiliate Community Program, an initiative designed to introduce more Kansas communities to the resources and technical assistance offered through Kansas Main Street.
  • NOVEMBER: Announced that nearly 2,000 Kansas small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic would receive a share of more than $130 million in Small Business Working Capital (SBWC) grants.
  • DECEMBER: In 2020, Governor Kelly distributed more than $34.7 million in Community Development Block Grants to projects across Kansas.

Transportation and Infrastructure: Governor Kelly has always prioritized transportation and infrastructure throughout her administration.

  • APRIL: Governor Laura Kelly signed bipartisan Senate Bill 173 into law, creating new 10-year Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program.
  • JULY: The Office of Rural Prosperity completed the 2020 virtual listening tour to continue the Kelly administration’s work towards solutions that will foster growth and prosperity in rural areas.
  • JULY: The Office of Rural Prosperity launched a partnership with the Kansas Sampler Foundation to engage, empower, retain and recruit young people in rural Kansas.
  • AUGUST: Governor Laura Kelly announces Grain Belt Express transmission line project with Invenergy to save up to $7 billion in electricity cost savings for Kansas and Missouri consumers by 2024.
  • OCTOBER: Established the Office of Broadband Development through EO #20-67, a step towards achieving the administration’s commitment of universal broadband coverage across Kansas.
  • NOVEMBER/OCTOBER: Secured $135 million in statewide funds and Connectivity Emergency Response Grant funds to expand broadband, specifically is underserved communities across Kansas.
  • NOVEMBER: Governor Laura Kelly announced more than $6 million in local transportation, technology projects statewide, marking the first-ever awards for KDOT’s Innovative Technology program made possible by the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program.
  • DECEMBER: Governor Laura Kelly announced more than $5.1 billion in grants as part of the Kansas Local Bridge Improvement Program.
  • DECEMBER: Governor Kelly announced First Statewide Housing Needs Assessment in 27 Years.

Education: Continuing her promise to fully fund public education and improve access and opportunity for our state’s children, Governor Kelly made significant headway for students and teachers this year despite the challenges posed by COVID-19.

  • Fully funded K-12 education in the 2020 budget.
  • Secured more than $57 million in early childhood grants.
    • FEBRUARY: Received a $26.8 million grant from the Administration for Children and Families to continue efforts to strengthen the early childhood system in Kansas.
    • APRIL: Awarded $8,943,000 as part of three-year federal Preschool Development Grant.
    • SEPTEMBER: Secured $21,700,000 in CARES Act funds for education.
    • NOVEMBER: Secured more than $2.1 million in grant funding to fuel 59 ‘All in for Kansas Kids’ Quality Subgrants to help communities, service and child care providers, and other early childhood champions address needs and gaps in the early childhood care and education system through locally-driven ideas and approaches.
  • JULY: Signed Executive Order #20-53, implementing Foster Care report cards to improve the transparency and function of Kansas’ foster care and public education systems.
  • AUGUST: In partnership with the DCF, Governor Kelly expanded the eligibility criteria for the Hero Relief Program and announced additional benefits for those receiving child care assistance to support families with delayed school openings.
  • NOVEMBER: Governor Kelly received the 5 of 5 Award from the National President of Jobs for America’s Graduates in recognition of Kansas meeting or exceeding national performance measures in five categories, including graduation rate and positive student outcomes.