Extra pay for nurses stalls

Republican legislators balk at giving to facilities that have vaccine mandates


State News

September 9, 2021 - 9:45 AM

Nursing student Brittany Corlyn is drawing medicine into a syringe at a vaccination clinic in Wilmington, CA. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A plan in Kansas to allocate up to $50 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to retention incentives for nurses and frontline workers has stalled because of top Republican legislators’ concerns about which hospitals would receive the money and how the funds would be spent.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s bipartisan pandemic response advisory task force delayed approving the proposal after a top Republican legislator argued that it should allow hospitals to use the funds to address other pandemic-related issues including mental health. Meanwhile Wednesday, another Republican leader on the task force proposed excluding hospitals that require all of their employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The task force expects to meet again by early next week to consider a revised version of the plan. It would have to sign off on the details before the funds could be spent.

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