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Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D).YouTube screenshot

TOPEKA, Kansas (LifeSiteNews) — The Kansas legislature has passed a bill to protect workers from federal COVID vaccine mandates. 

The bill was passed on Monday by both the Kansas House of Representatives and Senate. It aims to protect workers from President Biden’s federal vaccine mandate by forcing employers to allow for a wide range of vaccine exemptions, including religious exemptions, and by offering unemployment benefits to unvaccinated Kansans who lost their job as a result of not getting the jab.  

The bill received 24 votes against 11 in the Kansas Senate and 77 votes against 34 in the House of Representatives.   

The final version of the bill was the result of a compromise among legislators and did not include an earlier Senate amendment that banned Kansas businesses from imposing vaccination on employees in the first instance.  

However, the bill still offers Kansas workers a certain protection from the discriminatory mandate by allowing them to claim exemptions based on medical as well as religious and philosophical grounds.  

The final version also includes a severability clause to protect the bill, should parts of it be successfully challenged at court in the future.  

On Monday, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat who opposes President Biden’s federal vaccine mandate, pledged to sign the bill once it had been approved.  

In a November 5 statement addressing Biden’s vaccine mandate, Kelly said it was “too late to impose a federal standard now that we have already developed systems and strategies that are tailored for our specific needs.”  

The Kansas bill was criticized by Rep. Vic Miller, also a Democrat, who argued that the legislation is a “scam” that will allow anybody who is “just slightly smart enough to apply for the exemption” to avoid getting vaccinated.  

“Frankly, I don’t think anybody is going to ultimately qualify for unemployment. It’s a pretend thing, to pretend that they care about these people. It’s bulls***,” said Miller.  

“All they have to do is sign a phony statement that they believe the devil is their religion, and therefore they qualify,” he added.  

GOP representatives on the other hand, argued that the bill doesn’t go far enough.  

“We know that there’s some of you that think it doesn’t go far enough,” said Larry Alley, Senate Majority Leader. 

“[But] this bill protects liberty and protects individual freedom, and keeps Kansans working and protects our religious beliefs,” he added.  

His sentiment was echoed by Senate President Ty Materson, also a Republican.  

“In the greater scheme of things, we have to stay focused on the priority, which is protecting those people right now that could be losing their jobs,” Materson said.  

Kansas is only the latest U.S. state to pass legislation against the federal vaccine mandate. 

Just last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill against the mandate, trolling Biden by doing so in the city of Brandon. A hint at now famous conservative “let’s go Brandon” slogan against President Biden.