Gov. says Kansas has no ban on public gatherings, AG disagrees
In a move to stop Gov. Laura Kelly from banning gatherings of 10 or more at churches, she says actions by the Legislative Coordinating Council also removed the ban on all gatherings in the state of Kansas. The Attorney General disagrees.
"We do not have an order banning the size of gatherings," said Kelly in her daily news conference.
The Legislative Coordinating Council voted 5-2 overturning the Governor’s order. The executive order that added religious gatherings to the 10 or more ban replaced her previous 10 or more ban which excluded churches and funerals.
According to Gov. Laura Kelly, she is working with her legal counsel to see what can be done to reinstate the ban of 10 or more people in the state.
“The Governor should not use this crisis, or any other crisis, as a basis to restrict our constitutional rights. My church has canceled Mass at the advice of health experts; the same advice most Kansans are now following. However, they did it with free will, not a mandate by big brother infringing on the individual freedoms given to us by our Bill of Rights,” said Sen. President Susan Wagle (R-Wichita).
While there is no ban on public gatherings in place, Gov. Kelly is still urging Kansans to still stay at home and practice social distancing.
Meanwhile, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says the previous executive order is still in place.
“As the dust settles, our assessment of the current situation is that Executive Order 20-14, the prior version of the ‘mass gatherings’ order, remains in effect because the new order rescinding it has not been published in the Kansas Register and therefore has not taken effect. We would be happy to consult with the governor’s legal staff if they have a different view,” said Schmidt.