TOPEKA – Today, Governor Laura Kelly signed Senate Bill 131, bipartisan legislation that expands the state’s healthcare workforce and improves Kansans’ access to care. The bill streamlines the process for therapists, psychologists, social workers, and others to obtain and maintain licenses from the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board, and it expands who can administer influenza and other vaccines to Kansans over a certain age.
“The nationwide workforce shortage has hit Kansas hard, hurting people’s ability to access the healthcare they need in a timely manner,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “Signing this bipartisan bill is part of how my administration is addressing that shortage, making it easier than ever for Kansans to deliver or access lifesaving care.”
“I am proud to have worked on this bill that expedites the licensing process so we can get more workers in the healthcare field quicker,” said Representative Brenda Landwehr (R-Wichita). “I’ve seen in my district that the shortage of healthcare workers has driven up costs and waiting times for everyday people, so I thank Governor Kelly for signing this important legislation to address this issue.”
“The Kansas Pharmacists Association is proud of the support shown to Kansas communities by our pharmacy technicians over the last three years in their ability and desire to become active parts of our local vaccination teams,” said Aaron Dunkel, Executive Director of the Kansas Pharmacists Association. “The members of the Kansas Pharmacists Association believe in providing care in the community, and Senate Bill 131 provides our technician members with the opportunity to continue to serve their friends and neighbors with meaningful, timely, and cost-effective care through vaccine adminstration.
The bill also allows the State Board of Healing Arts to set up a process by which sports medicine professionals licensed outside of Kansas can practice in the state during certain sporting events.
“The timing of the passage of SB 131 could not have been better with the successful 2023 NFL Draft here in the Kansas City area,” said Senator Jeff Pittman (D-Leavenworth). “This bill puts in place a critical process allowing team doctors and other healthcare providers for competitive sports teams to practice while visiting our great state. This ensures that players are safe and have continuous care while traveling, and gives yet another reason for professional teams to see Kansas as a great place to play ball.”
Today, Governor Kelly also signed bipartisan Senate Bill 106, the annual bill that reconciles recent changes to statute.