Gov. Laura Kelly has issued several executive orders this week related to coronavirus (COVID-19) that range from limiting crowd sizes to pushing back the state income tax filing deadline.
On Tuesday, March 24, Kelly signed an executive order that limits mass gatherings in Kansas to 10 persons, which replaces the previous order limiting mass gatherings to 50 persons.
Many counties, including Miami County, already had limited crowds to no more than 10 persons.
Kelly said her decision was based on updated guidance from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and modeling from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) that projected cases of COVID-19 in Kansas could sharply rise to a range of 300 to 900 by the end of March.
“While none of us wanted to see this Executive Order further limiting the size of gatherings, it is necessary to help slow the spread of the coronavirus within our communities,” Kelly said Tuesday. “We learn more about this virus every day, and we are seeing serious cases in every age group – not just among our seniors. The most effective way we can slow down the spread is to stay home and practice good hygiene techniques.”
She also issued an executive order that details the Kansas Essential Functions Framework (KEFF) which counties will be required to use if local officials determine it is necessary to issue stay-at-home orders.
Stay-at-home orders require that residents not leave their homes unless they are engaged in activities that are essential to the health and safety of themselves, family members or friends, according to the governor’s office. Essential activities include, but are not limited to, seeking medical attention, purchasing food or filling up gas tanks, according to the executive order.
“These actions will ensure as much consistency as possible as local communities make their decisions around these increased protections for residents,” the governor said.
Several counties, including Miami County and others in the Kansas City metro area, already have stay-at home-orders in place. Miami County’s order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, March 25, and is scheduled to end at 12:01 a.m. April 23.
With the vast majority of Kansas counties without a confirmed case as of Tuesday, the governor said she does not plan to issue a statewide stay-at-home order at this time.
Kelly signed an executive order Monday, March 23, that extends the state tax filing deadline to July 15, and waives any interest and penalties for returns and payments made on or before July 15, according to a news release from the governor’s office. The executive order is intended to bring Kansas’ tax filing procedures in line with federal IRS measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the release.
Another of the governor’s executive orders issued Monday specifies that landlords cannot evict a residential tenant when all defaults or violations of the rental agreement are caused by financial hardships due to COVID-19, according the executive order.
Also Monday, the governor signed an executive order that prevents all Kansas waste removal providers from canceling or suspending commercial or residential waste or recycling removal services for Kansas residences and businesses as a result of nonpayment due to significant loss of income or increase in expenses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the release.
Kelly’s fourth executive order on Monday extended deadlines for driver’s licenses and vehicle registration renewals and regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic. All driver’s license renewals and vehicle registrations extended by the executive order must be completed within 60 days following the expiration of the statewide State of Disaster Emergency, proclaimed on March 12, according to a news release.
To read these and other executive orders issued by Gov. Kelly, go to governor.kansas.gov/governor/ and select executive orders, listed under the Newsroom tab on the main page.