Republican lawmakers have approved a measure to make it easy for workers to claim religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccine mandates and provide unemployment benefits to people fired for refusing the shots.
Governor Laura Kelly said she would sign the bill, angering some fellow Democrats.
Most Democratic lawmakers opposed it, arguing that it was a symbolic measure that won’t provide any real protections.
The bill would require employers to grant a religious exemption to COVID-19 vaccine mandates for any worker who seeks one in writing, without second-guessing that employee.
The votes were 24-11 in the Senate and 77-34 in the House.
One question is whether such state laws can be enforced because federal law is supreme.
Supporters argued that the Kansas measure would stand because it wouldn’t conflict with Biden’s mandates, which allow for religious exemptions.
Some business owners and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce were skeptical.
They worried that businesses would be caught between conflicting state and federal mandates.