In this Dec. 17, 2018 photo, Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly answers questions during an interview with The Associated Press, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. The incoming Democratic governor says her administration will have to do "triage" on problems at state agencies and that fixing them will require extra money and staff. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

New Kansas governor's budget repairs may fire GOP opposition

December 23, 2018 - 11:07 am

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' incoming Democratic governor uses words like "decimated" to describe what's happened to state government over the past decade.

Gov.-elect Laura Kelly will be looking to add staff, boost spending and rethink contracts outsourcing jobs to private companies.

Yet the same electorate that chose Kelly out of displeasure with her Republican predecessors opted in more-localized races to push the Legislature further to the right.

Upon taking office in January, Kelly will face GOP supermajorities and conservative leaders. That sets up political fights over proposals seen as expanding state government's footprint.

It's not just big initiatives like more spending on public schools or expanding state Medicaid health coverage for the needy.

She says she's even concerned about whether the state can clear highways well in a snowstorm.

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