GOP condemns early virus shots for inmates

Republican lawmakers in Kansas on Tuesday moved toward formally condemning Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s decision to give prison inmates COVID-19 vaccinations ahead of others, as her administration sought to address problems in providing benefits to workers left jobless by the pandemic.

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February 3, 2021 - 9:37 AM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican lawmakers in Kansas on Tuesday moved toward formally condemning Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s decision to give prison inmates COVID-19 vaccinations ahead of others, as her administration sought to address problems in providing benefits to workers left jobless by the pandemic.

The state Senate’s GOP-controlled health committee agreed to sponsor a resolution from its GOP chair, Sen. Richard Hilderbrand of Galena, calling on Kelly to reverse “without delay” her policy  on inoculating inmates. The state is including inmates in its second phase of vaccinations, along with people 65 or older and critical workers, but ahead of younger people with serious medical risks.

Hilderbrand said he’s pursuing a non-binding resolution from the Senate because doing so is faster than trying to pass a binding bill through both chambers that Kelly could veto. His resolution is likely to go straight to the Senate for a debate and vote, possibly this week.

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