Mar 28, 2020 6:47 PM

Wasinger: Facing the COVID-19 crisis

Posted Mar 28, 2020 6:47 PM
State Rep. Barb Wasinger, R-Hays
State Rep. Barb Wasinger, R-Hays

Today, Kansas became the 25th state to enter a statewide “stay at home” order. Most Kansans are already living under a local stay at home order and locally we are already doing this to a large extent. Twenty-two Kansas counties have done this and there are now cases in 31 counties across the state. This statewide order begins at 12:01 am on Monday, March 30, 2020 and is in effect until April 19, 2020. It replaces the patchwork of local orders around the state.  

The order can also be amended, allowing some flexibility to adapt as new information about the impact of coronavirus in Kansas emerges.  Here is the link:  https://governor.kansas.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/EO20-16.pdf

People will still be able to get outside and go to the grocery store, the doctor or pharmacy, and to work if their job is considered essential. Restaurants can continue to do drive-thru, carry-out and delivery services, and our supply chains for essentials will remain open and fully functional.   As more details come available I will share them as they are released.  The link that you can reference: 

https://governor.kansas.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/EO20-16.pdf

I voted for HCR 5025, the House Concurrent Resolution that keeps legislative oversight over decisions like these. The members of the committee that keeps check on these decisions is taking careful review to make sure this new order is not overly restrictive and yet does what our medical experts and disaster professionals believe is needed to protect the health of all of Kansas -our families, friends and neighbors.

This decision by the governor can be reviewed and it will be. It may be the right decision, and if it is, I will support it. However, if it goes too far in places or is too limiting, then I will work with other legislators and the executive branch to fix those areas. 

My first priority is to keep Kansans safe and healthy. My second priority is to keep our economy strong and allow our businesses and employers to make it through this pandemic. For some, that will be staying open and for others that will be opening up as soon as possible. I will continue to work for that balance that keeps us safe and allows us to come back as soon as danger has passed. 

I already supported extending unemployment benefits to help those suffering from layoffs.  Kansas has made $5 million available for those businesses in the hospitality industry, and new Small Business Administration disaster loans are making credit available to businesses who need it to get through. I support these measures and encourage you to check out KansasTogether.com for more information about the assistance available to workers and businesses.  I am also posting all of this on social media.

I firmly believe that Kansas is stronger than any virus. We are more resilient than any temporary shutdown. We are experienced at getting through troubles, picking each other up and getting back to work.   We can do this – we will survive.  Follow me on Instagram and twitter @barbwasinger for up-to-date information or on Facebook at Barb for Kanas.  Please message me with questions and I will do my best to get answers for you as soon as possible.

Proud to serve,

Barb Wasinger, Representative, 111th District