“Actions speak louder than words.” It was never more obvious than on the Senate floor, when conservatives defended our freedom against federal overreach of mandating COVID-19 vaccines. The legislature passed a bill that strengthens Kansas law regarding COVID-vaccines including religious and medical exemptions and unemployment. Employers are required to accept these religious exemptions to Kansans who seek them. Also, employers are required to accept requests for medical exemptions that include a doctor’s signature. Unemployment benefits were not available to employees who lost or will lose their job due to not receiving COVID-19 shots, but now they are.
The 25th Special Session in Kansas began November 22, 2021 and ended the same day. The day began with both the Senate and the House going directly to the floor to debate and work on legislation to block the federal vaccine mandates. Both chambers passed legislation and a conference committee was called to work out differences. The final legislation passed the Senate 24 to 11 and the House 77 to 34. I voted Yes. The Governor signed the bill into law.
It was the first time in Kansas history the Governor was forced to call a special session by a petition of 2/3 the legislators. It was reported in an online newspaper that the Governor requested Democrats not sign the petition for a special session. Thankfully, Republicans heard the cry of Kansans and stood together signing the petition, 29 senators and 84 representatives and the Governor signed the legislation into law.
It is a victory for protecting Kansans liberties.
The Governor Kelly administration has been contact tracing, collecting data on a person who may have been in contact with an infected person. Last year, they went as far as tracking Kansans movement of cellphones. This is invasive and is another form of government overreach.
Because of the time constraints on special session, Contact Tracing and other topics were not discussed. In fact, it was requested that we hold amendments to the COVID-19 mandates until regular session beginning January 10, 2022. Myself and others respected the request and have legislation ready for next session.
There will be many important topics in the 2022 session. Blocking overreaching government mandates, stopping Critical Race Theory (CRT) from being taught in our schools, government transparency, removing sales tax on food, elections, and many other topics will be worked during next session. You may follow the bills and watch meetings online at www.KSLegislature.org.
I hope that you are able to enjoy the holidays. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.