Mask debate set for Tuesday in House

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The House on Tuesday is poised to debate a new mask mandate that Gov. Laura Kelly is expected to reissue this week after the existing one expires.

House Republican leadership – Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr., House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins and Speaker Pro Tem Blaine Finch – introduced a resolution Monday addressing the mask mandate that Gov. Laura Kelly is expected to reissue this week.

The resolution is first up for debate on the House calendar today. The House convenes at 10 a.m.

The resolution urges the Legislative Coordinating Council to revoke any executive order issued by the governor that establishes new protocols for masks.

Last week, Gov. Laura Kelly signed new emergency management rules into law, which revoke any executive orders she issued related to the pandemic on Wednesday.

The governor immediately announced that she would reissue 12 executive orders on Thursday – including a statewide mask mandate – that will remain in place until the emergency declaration ends on May 28 or the orders are rescinded.

Republican leadership promised immediately it would move to revoke any mask mandate that the governor might reissue.

Any executive orders issued after Wednesday are subject to being revoked by the Legislature or the Legislative Coordinating Council, which is now made up of  eight members of House and Senate leadership.

The Legislature would make the decision if it’s in session. The Legislative Coordinating Council would make the decision if the Legislature is not meeting.

The Legislature is anticipated to be out of session for the holiday weekend, starting Thursday through next Tuesday.

The new law requires the chair of the LCC to call a meeting within 24 hours of the governor issuing a new executive order so it can be reviewed and potentially revoked.