Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt appealed a lower court’s ruling striking down the law.
Starting next week, USD 259 is requiring all students and staff to wear masks. The bill will not impact the school district’s decision or the mandate.
The bill is worded so that parents can challenge and request hearings about mask mandates and other COVID-19 related policies in schools only during a state of emergency. Kansas is not in a state of emergency.
“That is why we have a law department who takes the time to appropriately research exactly where we stand in regards to the legislative issues,” said Terri Moses, the director of safety services at Wichita Public Schools.
But, the bill does impact Sedgwick County Commissioners. The bill allows people who oppose mask requirements or restrictions on public gatherings to challenge them in court and obtain a ruling within 10 days.
Commissioner Pete Meitzner said Senate Bill 40 played a role in his decision to not vote for a county-wide mandate last Friday.
“It says any restriction so anybody can lineup as an individual, company or organization and feel that they were harmed,” said Meitzner.
The Kansas Supreme County is expected to rule on Senate Bill 40 on September 16.
AG Derek Schmidt statement on Kansas Supreme Court ruling:
“Today’s order from the Kansas Supreme Court granting our motion to stay the district court decision during the appeal is welcome news. The district court’s ruling had created unnecessary confusion about Kansas emergency management laws at a time when the rise in COVID cases makes certainty and stability in the law even more critical.”