TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Top Kansas legislators are forming a committee to examine the impact of COVID-19 mandates and what they call government overreach.
Members of the Legislative Coordinating Council announced a special committee on government overreach and the impact of COVID-19 mandates on Monday 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 determine 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 House Speaker Ron Ryckman, R-Olathe. “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, D-Lenexa.
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, R-Andover.
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.