Kansas House passes bill to extend executive orders

KANSAS (KSNT) – The Kansas House of Representatives today passed a bill to extend two executive orders Governor Laura Kelly signed earlier this month to respond to the return of COVID-19 to the state.

Representatives voted 106-5 in favor of the bill.

The bill now goes to the Senate for approval.

Kelly signed a state of disaster emergency on Jan. 6 to combat the pandemic. Kansas lawmakers have allowed some retired nurses and medical students to step in where they can so nurses and doctors can treat critical cases.

If the executive orders are not extended, there are fears that this could put hospitals and other intensive care facilities in a difficult situation due to the lack of staff.

The statement activates the recovery portions of Kansas’s response plan. It also allows the governor to terminate any law, rule, or regulation that impedes “action necessary to deal with the disaster.” The governor’s two executive orders also use his power under the disaster declaration:

  • The governor’s first executive order, EO 22-01, “provides temporary relief from certain restrictions and requirements governing the provision of medical services.”
  • The second, EO 22-02, “relaxes or suspends the licensing, certification and registration of persons and the licensing of adult care homes.”

“Our community needs to know that the choices they make day-to-day impact the care we can provide in Kansas communities,” Kansas Hospital Association spokeswoman Cindy Samuelson told KSNT. “We all need to do our part, so we can keep our hospitals open, so they can be there 24/7, 365 for any kind of need.”

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