KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Jackson County Legislature voted Monday morning on a mask quest. The resolution failed with a score of 5-4.
Supporters of the resolution cited a increase in COVID-19 cases in the county as one of the reasons the mission is needed.
“Jackson County, as well as surrounding counties, are classified as high transmission areas,” said Bridgette Shaffer, Dir. of the Jackson Co. Health Department, told lawmakers ahead of the vote.
Shaffer also said that Jackson County has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases for six straight weeks with a 150% increase in case rate. She reported that there was an increase in COVID-19 cases of all ages from October to November. As a result, the Jackson County Health Department said it recommends wearing masks.
Frank White, Jackson County Executive, said he also supports the solution.
“Politics is temporary, health care is forever, so we just have to remember that this is an overt and politicized issue,” White said.
Ronald Finley, Jackson County Legislator, said: “I think we have to do everything we can to save lives.
Not everyone agreed with the idea at Monday’s meeting.
“There are several problems with this law that make it unfit for us to even consider voting. First of all, it goes against state law 67,265, which contains a 180-day ban on expired or expired health orders,” said Jeanie Lauer, Jackson County Legislature.
Monday’s vote comes a month after Jackson County Legislators Vote to end county mask duty.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt also said face mask authorization is illegal and warned lawmakers in a letter Friday.
“I urge you to stop imposing mask-wearing mandates, especially on making five-year-olds criminals,” Schmitt said in a letter to the legislature.
Schmitt also wrote that the resolution violates state law and that the Jackson County Legislature does not have the authority to approve or enact mask authorization for a variety of reasons.
Lee’s Summit City Council was scheduled to meet Monday afternoon in a special session to consider their response when county legislators passed the mandate.
“Our citizens must follow Jackson County’s decisions when it comes to social distancing, wearing masks, and limiting capacity. Our citizens can make independent decisions to protect themselves and their families. We are at a point where vaccines are available to our eligible individuals, personal protection is readily available, and COVID testing is routinely provided,” said Bill Baird, Mayor of Lee Summit , said in a statement.
In November, the Blue Springs City Council also formally asked the Jackson County Legislature to end its masking mandate.
https://fox4kc.com/news/vote-to-reenact-mask-mandate-in-jackson-county-fails/ Jackson County legislators’ vote to reinstate mask mandate fails