GOP resistance means new Kansas governor off to rocky start

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s election created a national buzz about a possible shift to the left in Kansas politics.

But many Republicans remain unimpressed and feel little pressure to take up her big initiatives.

The GOP-dominated Legislature has yet to have committee hearings on her plan to expand the state’s Medicaid health coverage for the needy.

It has ignored her call to approve an increase in public school funding by the end of this month. Top Republicans are pursuing a tax relief bill she considers fiscally reckless.

Many Republican legislators treat Kelly’s victory as a fluke. She won with 48 percent of the vote and her political strength was concentrated in relatively few populous counties.

Conservative Republican state Rep. Brenda Landwehr of Wichita said: “She wasn’t given a mandate.”

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