KS lieutenant governor, U.S. senator discuss shift to county control with reopening plans

Published: May. 28, 2020 at 4:17 PM CDT
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As the state of Kansas puts plans to reopen businesses in the hands of individual counties, Sedgwick County is among those in which the governor's plan will serve as guidance only, not enforcement.

Thursday, Eyewitness News spoke with Kansas Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers and U.S. Senator Jerry Moran about what they now feel is important moving forward.

Rogers and Moran each spoke about the decision to put state-guided measures like stay-at-home orders in the hands of local government and what could be tackled on a state and federal level, moving forward.

Both agree it will take responsible actions by Kansans to make sure we don't slide backwards.

Rogers says it's likely Sedgwick County will have spikes and new clusters appear. He says the need to get the state and nation's economy moving again is undeniable, but with making decisions on reopening, doing so responsibly is paramount.

"They might have the freedom to open, but is that the best thing for their employees and is that the best thing for their customers? Because again, I think customers and employees are hesitant," Rogers says. "It's going to be difficult to reopen successfully."

Moran says he agrees with the move to allow individual counties to set their own rules, but like Rogers, says those rules need to keep health at the forefront.

"I am all for more freedom, I want people to have more capabilities of doing more things," Moran says. "But it's only going to work if people are responsible, so with that freedom comes a responsibility."

Senator Moran wore a mask while off camera Thursday. Rogers says he also wears a mask while in public. Both say they adhere to social distancing guidelines and they ask Kansans to follow their lead.

"I know there are people who say, you know, I'll do what I want to do and you know, I understand that attitude," Moran says. "But the reality is what we do affects other people, and so we have responsibility to take care of our families, for our neighbors, for the people we work with."

Moran says he'll return to Washington, D.C. Monday to work on additional legislation he says will be less expensive than the last three packages passed.

Rogers says Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has started working with various interest groups and legislative leaders ahead of a special session scheduled for June 3.