KS lawmakers form overreach committee to fight vaccine mandates

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Top Kansas lawmakers are hoping to put the federal government in check when it comes to the pandemic.

Members of the Legislative Coordinating Council announced the creation of a special committee on government overreach and the impact of COVID-19 mandates on Monday. It’s in response to President Biden’s plan for vaccine and testing requirements impacting federal employees, healthcare facilities, and large businesses.

The group said this is the best way to find out what steps are available for the legislature, Congress, or attorney general to take.

“A lot of Kansans are upset with the speech that our president gave talking about some of these mandates that are coming down,” said Speaker of the House Ron Ryckman. “We really want to make sure Kansas is in the best position if his actions do match the speech. We want to know what we’re able to do to stop the federal mandates.”

There are some concerns about creating the committee though.

“We’ve had 6,000 deaths in Kansas because of COVID. I just don’t want this committee to politicize this anymore, and we need to have solutions, how do we get out of this,” said Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes.

The motion passed without anyone voting against it.

Supporters said this is a way to save tax dollars by preventing a special legislative session to address the matter.

“Really meant to start action on what that is and have these meetings, otherwise we’re costing taxpayers $65,000 dollars a day to be in session,” said Senate President Ty Masterson.

They also said it allows lawmakers to present a clearer picture of what the options are.

“We instructed our legislative staff last meeting to start digging into what can be done, I think it’s most appropriate to have that done in this committee format where it’s just open and transparent to the public and we can take public comment, public testimony,” Masterson said.

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