Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced he will enforce only the city’s reopening rules, not the more stringent ones from the state of Missouri. Even the liberal Kansas City star, which has been an unabashed supporter of the mayor, stated it was a bow to “reality.”
“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 percent capacity rule… Our sole requirement will be that 6-foot social distancing.”
However, Gov. Mike Parson announced 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 percent-25 percent capacity, depending on the size of the business. Parson has come under intense scrutiny for reopening rules that seem harsh, considering the state’s infections are primarily in three large cities.
Morgan Said, director of the communications with the Mayor’s Office, said the governor has always allowed local municipalities to make their own guidelines. 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.
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. The order states local authorities may make “further ordinances” that are “not inconsistent with this Order.” Kansas City’s 50 percent rule will, therefore, become inconsistent with the state regulation.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice