TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Influential Kansas business groups have strong misgivings about Republican proposals aimed at financially protecting workers refusing COVID-19 inoculations while vocal anti-mandate activists don’t think the measures go far enough.
A joint legislative committee on Friday endorsed a proposal to make it easier for workers to claim religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates and another to provide unemployment benefits to workers who are fired for refusing to get vaccinated. Both are a response to vaccine mandates from President Joe Biden applying to more than 100 million workers.
Republican lawmakers have forced a Thanksgiving-week special session of the GOP-controlled Legislature to consider the two GOP proposals for resisting the mandates. Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly has expressed opposition to the Democratic president’s mandates but has not embraced specific proposals. Lawmakers are set to convene Nov. 22.