Kansas Lawmakers Revoke Gov.’s Mask Mandate

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s updated statewide mask mandate had a short lifespan.

On Thursday, the Kansas Legislative Coordinating Council voted to revoke the Governor’s latest mask mandate. The vote was 5-2.

The decision comes after earlier on Thursday, Kelly issued a new statewide mask mandate that was supposed to run through May 28, 2021.

Speaker Ron Ryckman (R-Olathe), Majority Leader Dan Hawkins (R-Wichita), and Speaker Pro Tem Blaine Finch (R-Ottawa) issued the following joint statement:

“Public health mandates should be short-term, data-driven and reserved only for pressing emergency situations. They should not be used to dictate Kansans’ daily lives year after year. If data is the real driver behind the Governor’s approach, then let’s rely on the numbers. In November, the Governor issued her last statewide mask mandate saying there was a “worrying spike” in cases. At that time, Kansas had 5,217 new cases and a 7-day average of 2,430 new cases. Now, Kansas has only 36 new cases and a 7-day average of 216 cases.

Kansans have banded together for over a year to successfully reduce the spread of COVID – and they’ve done so during a time when most counties had opted out of the Governor’s mask mandate. With cases dropping and no data to support the need for another statewide mandate, the best approach has proven to be local control. We support the continued ability of communities to tailor solutions that work for them, and we urge all Kansans to continue to practice recommended measures of infection control for their health and the health of those around them.”