64.9 F
Wichita
Saturday, May 30, 2020

Kansas Republicans Upset At Church Limits Act To Wipe Out Gov. Kelly’s Large Gathering Ban

Sports Headlines

NHL Announces Return to Play Plan for 2019-20

NEW YORK (May 26, 2020) – The National Hockey League announced today a Return To Play Plan for the 2019-20 season, highlighted by a modified...

Royals announce June schedule for “Royals Playback”

KANSAS CITY, MO. – The Kansas City Royals announced their June schedule for “Royals Playback,” airing Tuesdays (7 p.m.), Thursdays (7 p.m.), Saturdays (6...

College/Pro Week on the Sports Ticket on KD Country 94

Next week we'll shift our focus to local college and pro sports as we celebrate College/Pro Week. The Sports Ticket is live weekdays at...

Kansas Speedway May Race Weekend Postponed

Kansas City, KAN. – Officials with NASCAR and the Kansas Speedway have announced that the May 30-31 race weekend has been postponed until a...

Ubelaker Retires as Osborne High School AD

Longtime Osborne High School Athletic Director Doug Ubelaker retired from that position at Monday's USD 392 board meeting.  Ubelaker spent 33 years as the...
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

By STEPHEN KORANDA & CELIA LLOPIS-JEPSEN

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansas may not have any limits on the number of people who can safely gather — at all.

In a dramatic rebuke, Republican leaders on the Legislative Coordinating Council voted 5-2 Wednesday to overturn the Democratic governor’s executive order banning churches and funerals from gathering more than 10 people, which followed a wider directive from March 24.

It was seemingly the final straw when Kelly told churches that they couldn’t gather to celebrate one of the most important days in Christianity, Easter. Kelly did not immediately reinstate a ban on gatherings, saying her administration was exploring its legal options.

She called the Republicans leaders’ decision “shockingly irresponsible,” action that will “put every Kansan at risk.” She also took aim at Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who discouraged police and prosecutors from breaking up groups of people, which she called a “bizarre, confusing and overtly political attack.”

The fight came as Kansas topped 1,000 cases of COVID-19. Already, Kansas officials say three clusters of coronavirus have been tied directly to church events, leading to 165 illnesses and 12 deaths.

But the order shutting churches down almost entirely, even though most had canceled services or had moved them online voluntarily, rankled Kansas’ Republican leaders.

Kelly said her legal counsel had put the executive order together, and believed it was constitutional. But Senate President Susan Wagle, who often clashes with Kelly, disagreed.

“We’re restricting individual rights to practice religious liberties,” said Wagle, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate. “I can’t approve this.”

House Speaker Pro Tem Blaine Finch said during the Legislative Coordinating Council’s conference call that he hoped everyone will stay home, adding that it isn’t worth the risk to go to a church service this weekend. He thanked church leaders for holding online services.

Those who voted to overturn the executive order were Wagle, Finch, Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, House Speaker Ron Ryckman and House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins. The two Democrats on the panel, Sen. Anthony Hensley and House Rep. Tom Sawyer, wanted to keep the order.

Stephen Koranda is the Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service. You can reach him on Twitter @kprkoranda.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen reports on consumer health and education for the Kansas News Service. You can follow her on Twitter @celia_LJ or email her at celia (at) kcur (dot) org.

The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio focused on health, the social determinants of health and their connection to public policy.

Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished by news media at no cost with proper attribution and a link to ksnewsservice.org.

Kansas Headlines

WATCH LIVE: NASA & SpaceX Crewed Dragon Launch

NASA will provide live coverage of prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Demo-2 test flight, carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley...

K-State financial planning therapist co-develops MoneyTalk digital tool; offers tips to cope with COVID-19 financial stress

MANHATTAN — The uncertainty of tomorrow is one of the biggest sources of financial stress and anxiety for couples during the COVID-19 pandemic. Megan McCoy, Kansas...

AG Derek Schmidt to U.S. Justice Department: Investigate pricing in beef markets

TOPEKA – (May 28, 2020) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate significant price swings in...

Two Kansas Companies Fined $1 Million Each In Atchison Chlorine Gas Case

TOPEKA, KAN. – Harcros Chemicals, Inc., and MGP Ingredients, Inc., today were fined $1 million each for violating the federal Clean Air Act when...

Kansas Supreme Court Mulling Whether The State Can Police Medical Bills From ‘Air Pirates’

By Celia Llopis-Jepsen - Kansas News Service TOPEKA, Kansas — Fed-up with sticker shock from air ambulance bills, one insurer has pressed its case all the...

Kansas News Service

Kansas Supreme Court Mulling Whether The State Can Police Medical Bills From ‘Air Pirates’

By Celia Llopis-Jepsen - Kansas News Service TOPEKA, Kansas — Fed-up with sticker shock from air ambulance bills, one insurer has pressed its case all the...

Kansas Gov. Kelly’s Emergency Powers Weakened By Lawmakers Who Say She Overreacted To COVID-19

By Stephen Koranda - Kansas News Service TOPEKA, Kansas — In a one-day marathon session that wrapped up a legislative year upended by the coronavirus, Kansas...

The Coronavirus Blew A $650M Hole In Kansas’ Budget, Putting Even School Funding In Jeopardy

By Stephen Koranda - Kansas News Service LAWRENCE, Kansas — When Kansas lawmakers left for an early spring break in mid-March, the state was projected to...

Kansas Educators Worry What Five Months Away From Classrooms Will Do To Schoolkids

By Stephan Bisaha - Kansas News Service WICHITA, Kansas — The summer slide. That’s the annual learning loss that happens when students spend three months away...

Despite Meatpacking Plants’ Efforts, Kansas Workers Say ‘We’re Right Next To Each Other’

By Corinne Boyer - Kansas News Service DODGE CITY, Kansas — In the days leading up to President Donald Trump’s mandate that all meatpacking plants stay open,...