Vaccine mandate takedown: Lawmakers call special session over Biden’s order

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, (KSNT)— A small group of Kansas lawmakers are calling for a special session over the federal coronavirus vaccine mandate. The state’s “Government Overreach” committee voted unanimously to move forward with plans to call the Legislature back in early on Tuesday.

Senate President Ty Masterson said the Senate is discussing a tentative date of Nov. 22 for the special session to be held. To move forward, two-thirds of lawmakers in both the House and Senate would have to agree for a special session to take place.

This came shortly after the Masterson led discussions of his new bill challenging President Biden’s federal vaccine mandate. The proposal would allow employees to submit a written waiver request to employers requiring the mandate under certain conditions. It would also allow employees to bring civil action to employers over damages brought on by such violation.

During the meeting, Senator Masterson referred to President Biden’s mandate as “garbage.”

“Putting someone else in the place of God isn’t that place to be,” Senator Masterson, R-Andover said. “What we’re trying to get to is the core of someone’s first amendment rights and freedom of religion.”

An informational hearing on Masterson’s bill is planned for Friday, Nov. 12 at 10 a.m.

Growing concerns over President Biden’s federal vaccine mandate have prompted Kansas lawmakers to explore options of what can be done. One of the options is a “special session” to get legislation passed, before thousands of Kansans potentially lose their jobs next month.

Lawmakers usually convene for a few months each year, starting in January. However, a special session occurs when the legislature is called to meet at a time outside the regular legislative session usually to address a particular topic or emergency. The most recent was in 2020 to enact the governmental response to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in Kansas and provide certain relief during this time.

Watch the panel’s full meeting below:

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December 31 2021 11:59 pm