State of emergency set to expire, despite governor extension request

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, (KSNT)— The state of emergency order in Kansas is set to end.

A group of lawmakers cancelled their meeting Tuesday afternoon to decide whether to extend the emergency order. The order will now expire at midnight.

In an interview Monday, Gov. Kelly said she’s feeling ‘optimistic’ that lawmakers would extend the order, noting that it is vital in making sure the state has what it needs to increase vaccinations.

“If we lose this emergency declaration it really impedes our ability to really do the most important task we got ahead of us right now,” the governor said.

The governor said administering vaccines to children ages 12 and up before school starts, is a priority for the state. Her message, following CDC guidance, urging younger Kansans to get vaccinated in a push to put the pandemic behind us.

“We want our children to feel safe, and the vaccination is really the key to that,” said Dr. Marci Nielsen, the state’s Chief Advisor of Vaccine Distribution.

As of this week, CDC numbers shows about 47.5% of people ages 12 and up in Kansas are fully vaccinated, and it’s a number the state is working hard to increase.

Kansas Senate Republican Leadership released a statement Tuesday, regarding their decision to allow the emergency order to expire.

“The legislature and the LCC have granted the governor every extension request over the last year, but the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19 no longer necessitate a statewide disaster emergency. The governor has not provided adequate justification for the LCC to grant her request for yet another extension, and all remaining efforts related to COVID-19 can and should take place under our normal procedures. As such, the statewide disaster emergency will expire as planned.”

KANSAS SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP

The governor said extending the state of emergency order is critical in fulfilling the state’s goal for vaccinations.

“We need that declaration in place, so that we have the personnel necessary, the contact nurses, and the ability to use our emergency management department,” Kelly said.

The governor previously sent a letter last week, urging the Legislative Coordinating Council to extend the state of emergency order until July 15.

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