Governor Kelly considers solution on vaccine mandate

TOPEKA, Kansas – As Kansas lawmakers consider questioning President Joe Biden’s federal COVID vaccine mandate, a spokeswoman for the office of the governor of Kansas, Laura Kelly, told the Kansas Capitol Office of the KSNT on Wednesday that the governor was also exploring solutions for the state.

“We are reviewing the legislation proposed by Senator Masterson yesterday. There are several pending lawsuits against federal vaccine warrants; States are still waiting for clear guidance on expectations for implementation and enforcement. As legislative leaders debate whether or not to convene a special session, Governor Kelly continues to explore steps her administration can take to find a Kansas-centric solution, not a single, level-mandated approach. national.

REEVES OYSTER, SPEAKER FOR GOVERNOR KELLY

While it’s not clear whether the governor will approve the special session or the bill, she openly opposed the federal mandate on vaccines.

Kelly released a statement last week condemning the warrant.

“Yesterday I reviewed the Biden administration’s new vaccine mandate. While I appreciate the intention to protect people, a goal I share, I don’t think this directive is the correct or most effective solution for Kansas. States have led the fight against COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. It is too late to impose a federal standard now that we have already developed systems and strategies tailored to our specific needs. I will seek a resolution that continues to recognize the uniqueness of our state and builds on our continued efforts to tackle a unique crisis in a century. “

GOV. LAURA KELLY, D-KANSAS

The statement is the Democratic governor’s first official comment on the president’s order. State lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have reacted to the move.

Rep. Troy Waymaster, R-Bunker Hill, said the governor was “correct” in the comments she made. The Republican representative said he encouraged people to believe in their “own individual rights and freedoms” and “decide what they want to do.”

“The Kansans don’t want to be forced to get vaccinated just because it’s coming from the federal government as a mandate,” Waymaster said.

Some Democrats also supported the governor’s decision. Senator Tom Hawk, D-Manhattan, said he agreed with the governor’s statement.

“I think the governor pointed out that the warrants may not work as well as some of the things she’s trying to do, which encourages people to get vaccinated,” Hawk told the Kansas Capitol Bureau Friday. “I want people to know that I think getting the vaccine is a critical part of putting the COVID-19 pandemic in the rearview mirror… I think the main thing is to try to encourage people to get the vaccine. . “

In Kansas, efforts are underway to find a way to protect thousands of workers who are expected to lose their jobs in the coming months.

At least three state universities with federal contracts in place have announced that employees will need to be fully immunized by Dec. 8 as a condition of employment. The president’s mandate for companies sets a deadline of January 4.

Lawmakers on the state’s Special Committee on Government Overbreadth plan to hold a special session to address the issue. Moving forward, two-thirds of House and Senate lawmakers would have to agree that a special session be held.

Growing concerns over Biden’s federal vaccine mandate have prompted Kansas lawmakers to explore options of what can be done. One option is a “special session” to push through the legislation, before thousands of Kansans lose their jobs in the months to come.

Lawmakers typically meet for a few months each year, starting in January. However, an extraordinary session occurs when the legislature is called to meet at a time outside of the ordinary legislative session, usually to deal with a particular subject or emergency. Most recent date of 2020 implement the government response to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in Kansas and provide some relief during this time.


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