Governor, Attorney General Balk at Vaccine Mandate

Count Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and  Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt among those who do not a support imposing vaccine mandate on private businesses in the state.

The Governor release the following statement.

“Yesterday, I reviewed the new vaccine mandate from the Biden Administration. While I appreciate the intention to keep people safe, a goal I share, I don’t believe this directive is the correct, or the most effective, solution for Kansas.  States have been leading the fight against COVID-19 from the start of the pandemic. It is too late to impose a federal standard now that we have already developed systems and strategies that are tailored for our specific needs. I will seek a resolution that continues to recognize the uniqueness of our state and builds on our on-going efforts to combat a once-in-a-century crisis.”

The Attorney General Friday filed a federal lawsuit challenging the new federal vaccine mandate for private employers with more than 100 employees, which was promulgated today by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The new mandate, issued as an “emergency temporary standard,” requires that employees either be vaccinated or receive frequent testing for COVID-19 and would apply to all private-sector employers with 100 or more employees, affecting thousands of Kansas workers and businesses.

Schmidt joined six other state attorneys general in filing a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, following through on his previous warnings about the doubtful legality of using OSHA emergency powers to mandate employee vaccinations or testing. Today’s filing asks the court to review the legality of the new mandate, arguing that OSHA lacks the statutory and constitutional authority to issue it. The attorneys general also plan to file a motion asking the court to stay the mandate pending the outcome of the case.