Local legislators support COVID-19 bill

John Richmeier
Courtesy: Leavenworth County Health Department

A bill that addresses executive and legislative powers in Kansas during the COVID-19 pandemic has passed with the support of most of the state lawmakers who represent Leavenworth County.

The bill passed in the Kansas House of Representatives on Wednesday, the first day of a special session of the Legislature. And the bill was approved in the Kansas Senate on Thursday.

The bill extends a state of disaster emergency declared by Gov. Laura Kelly through Sept. 15.

The bill also would prevent the governor from ordering businesses closed in the future for more than 15 days without the consent of legislative members of the State Finance Council, according to information posted on a website for the Kansas Legislature.

The bill also would give legislative members of the State Finance Council a say in how federal coronavirus relief funding is spent.

The bill passed the Kansas House on Wednesday by a vote of 107-12. All of the House members who represent areas of Leavenworth County voted in favor of the bill, according to the website for the Legislature.

Kelly applauded the House’s approval of the bill, which she called bipartisan, on Wednesday.

The bill passed in the Kansas Senate on Thursday by a vote of 26-12.

State Sen. Kevin Braun, a Republican who represents Leavenworth and Lansing, voted for the bill. State Sen. Tom Holland, a Democrat who represents other areas of Leavenworth County, voted against the bill, according to the website for the Legislature.

On Thursday, the Leavenworth County Health Department reported one additional confirmed case of COVID-19 in the county. This new case involves an inmate at the Lansing Correctional Facility.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county now total 1,099. That number includes 836 cases involving LCF inmates and 67 cases involving staff and inmates at the Grossman Center halfway house in Leavenworth.

Of the remaining 196 community cases in the county, 16 are considered active, according to the Health Department.

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