KANSAS CITY, Mo. — New paths for reopening have put Kansas City and the Missouri state government at odds, but Mayor Quinton Lucas said he will only enforce the city’s more lenient rules.
Mayor Lucas announced a new order on May 28 that allows businesses to operate at 50% capacity starting in June. The previous reopening phase followed the mayor’s 10/10/10 rule.
“We all recognize that, as we reopen, it’s important that we have clear rules, and that’s why we are instituting, frankly, almost one clear rule,” Lucas said. “It is just merely a 50% capacity rule… Our sole requirement will be that 6-foot social distancing.”
However, Gov. Parson announced later that same day that the state would be extending Phase 1 of its “Show Me Strong Recovery” Plan. Under this phase, businesses are only allowed to have a 10%-25% capacity, depending on the size of the business.
We asked officials what this meant for the city. Morgan Said, director of the communications with the Mayor’s Office, told FOX4 that the governor has always allowed local municipalities to make their own guidelines.
When we messaged Mayor Lucas directly on social media, he responded by saying, “We’ll enforce at our 50% threshold.”
In the same question, we asked Lucas what communication he had maintained with the governor on reopening. He did not respond to this part of the question.
Parson tweeted Thursday night that local municipalities must still follow state rules.
“Local officials will still have the authority to put further rules, regulations, or ordinances in place so long as they are not inconsistent with the statewide order,” Parson said in the tweet.
What’s in the order?
The state extension order, which was issued and signed by Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randal Williams, extends Phase 1 from June 1 through June 15. A section of the order does note that local governments have the right to have their own restrictions. However, it states local rules must not be inconsistent with the state rule.
Pursuant to section 192.290, RSMo, this Order shall be observed throughout the state and enforced by all local and state health authorities; provided however, nothing herein shall limit the right of local authorities to make such further ordinances, rules, regulations, and orders not inconsistent with this Order which may be necessary for the particular locality under the jurisdiction of such local authorities. Local public health authorities are hereby directed to carry out and enforce the provisions of this Order by any legal means.SHOW ME STRONG RECOVERY ORDER
The order states local authorities may make “further ordinances” that are “not inconsistent with this Order.” Kansas City’s 50% rule will, therefore, become inconsistent with the state regulation.