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A New Way To Think About 'Essential' & 'Nonessential' Business Classifications In Kansas

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Picture of a women wearing a black hat standing in a shop full of quincenera dresses
Chris Haxel
Owners of nonessential businesses in Kansas, like Ana Medina of Moda Bella in Wyandotte County, were hit hard by mandated closings because of the coronavirus. Some groups say any future closings should be based on whether a business is safe or not, regardless of whether they are deemed essential.

Conservative groups in Kansas are making an argument for moving away from the essential-nonessential business designation that has proliferated since the pandemic.

Figuring out which businesses are essential and nonessential during a pandemic can be a hairy ordeal. That's why some conservative groups say states and counties should instead be determining which businesses are safe and which are not — so that a bar with a tricked-out ventilation system, rigorous social distancing and no karaoke can still be allowed to open.

  • Ryan Kriegshauser, Kansas attorney and legal counsel for the Trust Kansas Coalition
Steve Kraske is the host of KCUR's Up To Date. Follow him on Twitter @stevekraske.
Luke X. Martin is an assistant producer for KCUR's Up To Date.