Kansas bill against federal vaccine mandate is signed

November 2021

House Bill No. 2001 was signed into law by Kansas Governor Laura Kelly this week. The new piece of legislation in part eases the vaccine exemption process for Kansas employees on the basis of health and religious beliefs.

In a 2021 Special Session this past Tuesday, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly signed a COVID-19 vaccine-related bill into law.

House Bill No. 2001 as amended, “would create law related to employer COVID-19 vaccine requirements and exemptions and related eligibility for unemployment benefits.”

Under the new law, exemptions and eligibility are required for unemployment benefits. In part, the piece of legislation eases the process of vaccine exemption for Kansas employees.

Passed 24-11 in the Kansas Senate and 77-34 in the House, the bill states that any employer implementing a COVID-19 vaccine requirement allow employee exemption without punitive action under select circumstances. The bill can be read in full here.

“I have been clear that I believe it is too late to impose a federal standard. States have been leading the fight against COVID-19 for nearly two years,” Kelly said. “I know there are Kansans who believe this legislation goes too far, and there are others who believe this legislation doesn’t go far enough. But I was elected to lead, and leadership means seeking compromise.”