Kansas Legislative Coordinating Council overturns Governor Kelly’s order restricting church gatherings

Joplin Area Coronavirus

TOPEKA, Ks. — Lawmakers have reversed an order by the Governor that restricted church gatherings.

The Legislative Coordinating Council voted to strike down Governor Kelly’s order, saying it was a clear example of government overreach.

The group, consisting of 5 republican and 2 democratic legislative leaders voted along party lines.

On Tuesday, the Governor announced the executive order after health officials pinpointed three of the large clusters of coronavirus in the state are linked to church events.

But republicans argued that people are already adapting and this mandate wasn’t necessary.

Sen. Susan Wagle, (R) Senate President, said, “Most of them are already planning to stay home and pray together and watch services online, they just felt like it was a violation of their constitutional rights to have the government tell them that they cannot participate in a church service.”

But democrats on the council says the vote was political and potentially dangerous.

Rep. Tom Sawyer, (D) House Minority Leader, said, “The churches responded great, I think the LCC has made a big mistake today, unfortunately even if it’s just one large gathering happens because the ban on 10 or more is gone, that could cause more people to die, and that’s unfortunate.”

Lawmakers on both sides did urge Kansans to listen to health officials and stay away from large gatherings and celebrate religious events at home.

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