Today the Kansas Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Legislative Coordinating Council (LCC) was not authorized to revoke Executive Order 20-18. The order, which prohibits mass gatherings of more than 10 people – including church services and funerals — remains in effect.
“My top priority has always been the safety and well-being of all Kansans,” Kelly said. “I know this pandemic is extremely hard for everyone. Each unprecedented action I’ve been forced to make in recent weeks has been taken in close consultation with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, the Attorney General, legislators and key stakeholders. That process will continue.
“Most other states, at the urging of the White House and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have taken similar steps to protect Americans to slow the spread of COVID-19,” the Governor said.
The decision comes as the Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced Saturday an additional 102 confirmed cases and five deaths, bringing the state’s total to 1,268 confirmed cases and 55 deaths across 61 counties.
“I want to thank the Supreme Court for its expedited review under difficult circumstances,” Kelly said, referring to the Supreme Court meeting for the first time in the court’s history by video conference. “Our response to this unprecedented pandemic has necessitated that even our most fundamental institutions find alternative methods that preserve public health.”
The ruling held that the seven-member LCC lacked authority to revoke Executive Order 20-18 and that the LCC’s ability to exercise such authority is controlled by the Kansas Emergency Management Act.
“Today’s ruling does not change my commitment to maintaining open lines of communication and collaboration with the Legislature. The only way to get through this is by working with—not against—each other in a bipartisan fashion.”