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This afternoon, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed Executive Order 20-31, which establishes a new phase to the “Ad Astra: Plan to Reopen Kansas.” The new “1.5” Phase, effective May 18, 2020, continues reopening efforts while preserving some data-driven restrictions necessary to prevent community transmission of COVID-19. “The good news is that hospitalizations and COVID-related deaths continue to decline, enabling us to move forward with our efforts to safely reopen Kansas,” said Kelly. “Unfortunately, the daily rate of disease spread has not shown the downward trajectory necessary to move fully into Phase...

Renew Kansas Biofuels Association sent a letter to the Kansas Congressional delegation urging their support of biofuels relief funding outlined in the House of Representatives recently-introduced Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act. The letter, sent to Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran and Representatives Sharice Davids, Ron Estes, Dr. Roger Marshall and Steve Watkins, called the delegations’ attention to the more than $2.25 billion set aside for biofuels relief amid the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. “In Kansas, we currently have two ethanol plants who were forced to shut down...

Featuring Eric J. Conn, OSHA Practice Group Chair at Conn Maciel Carey, this webinar will break down the workplace safety implications of OSHA’s recently issued “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19,” which defines risk categories and provides recommendations on how to protect employees. Topics include: OSHA, CDC, and other guidance for managing infection control in the workplace generally Regulatory issues and best practices associated with voluntary and mandatory use of respirators or other face coverings Illness recording/reporting issues How to respond to employee or OSHA complaints. OSHA’s definition of “workplace” covers everything...

On May 6, the Legislative Coordinating Council voted to reconvene the Kansas Legislature on Thursday, May 21st at a time to be determined. May 21st was the pre-scheduled date for sine die adjournment – the final day of the 2020 legislative session. While the full legislature will not meet until May 21st, House and Senate leadership may yet approve meetings by certain committees (budget, tax, etc.) for consideration of bills. A motion by Senate leadership to return a few days before the 21st to conduct additional business fell by a vote...

U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza announced today that agricultural businesses are now eligible for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs. SBA’s EIDL portal will reopen today as a result of funding authorized by Congress through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act. The legislation, signed into law by the President one week ago, provided additional funding for farmers and ranchers and certain other agricultural businesses affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “For more than 30 years, SBA has been prohibited by law from providing...

This evening, Governor Laura Kelly issued executive guidance on her six-week plan to re-open the state of Kansas amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan begins with Monday's expiration of her statewide stay-at-home order. The four-phase plan includes rapid, wide-scale testing capabilities to identify who has been infected before they unknowingly spread the disease. The state plans to recruit and train 400 new workers for a robust contact tracing program. Each phase of the plan, outlined below, would last a minimum of 14 days but could be extended by the state if the virus unexpectedly...

Renew Kansas applauds Congressman Roger Marshall (R-Kan. // 1st District) for teaming up with U.S. Representatives Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa), Angie Craig (D-Ill.) and Don Bacon (R-Neb.) to introduce the Clean Fuels Deployment Act. The legislation authorized $500 million over five years for the Department of Transportation to provide grants that will incentivize the deployment of fueling infrastructure for ethanol and biodiesel, with a focus on ethanol blends greater than 10 percent and biodiesel blends greater than 20 percent. “During this uncertain time, this proposal demonstrates leadership and vision for Kansas and our nation’s...

SBA PPP Accepting & Limiting Loan Applications The U.S. Small Business Agency (SBA) will begin taking loan applications today at 9:30 am for its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Click here to read why the SBA is limiting how much in loans a lender can process. Click here to read what you need to know about the PPP's second round. Governor Kelly Expected to Release Plan to Re-open Kansas Kansas Governor Laura Kelly is expected early this week to release her plan to reopen the state as the COVID-19 begins to ease. Click here to...

Colwich, KS, April 27, 2020: That is the conclusion of a new peer reviewed technical paper published in the Journal of Air & Waste Management, validating previous research efforts by the Urban Air Initiative that find when ethanol is added to gasoline, it significantly reduces toxic emissions tied to air pollution. The research team leading this effort included notable refinery and fuel emission experts who looked at hundreds of earlier studies on emissions and ethanol. A glaring error, according to the authors, is that these studies assume a standard fuel is created for testing...

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives followed the Senate's vote on Tuesday to pass the fourth COVID-19 response bill aimed to shore up funding for small businesses hurt by the global pandemic. This relief package included funding for the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans, as well as for hospitals and testing. Here is the complete breakdown: Total cost: $484.352 billion $311 billion for small businesses $60 billion for emergency disaster funds for small businesses $75 billion for hospitals $25 billion for testin The latest...

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