Kansas financially protecting workers who refuse COVID shots

Coronavirus in Kansas

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly stands outside the front door of the governor’s official residence for a holiday event, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, in Topeka, Kan. The Democratic governor is defending her decision to sign a Republican bill to financially protect workers who refuse to get COVID-19 vaccinations, saying, “leadership means seeking compromise.” (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has brushed aside complaints from fellow Democrats about signing a Republican measure aimed at financially protecting workers who refuse to get COVID-19 vaccines.

She declared Tuesday that, in her words, “leadership means seeking compromise.”

Kelly acted with unusual speed and signed the bill the afternoon after its passage by the GOP-controlled Legislature just before midnight Monday during a one-day special session.

Kansas is making it easy for workers to claim religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccine requirements and promising unemployment benefits to people who are fired after refusing the shots.

The votes Monday night were 24-11 in the Senate and 77-34 in the House.

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