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Kansas Gov. Kelly vetoes bill that would limit government intervention in a health crisis

Laura Kelly
Posted at 4:56 PM, May 13, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed Senate Bill 34 on Friday, which would have limited what governments and public officials could do in reaction to an infectious disease.

The bill prohibits governmental agencies from requiring face masks in the event of a contagious disease. It would also ban the requirement of "vaccine passports," or proof that a person received a COVID-19 vaccination, by governmental agencies or officials. It bans officials from requiring law enforcement enforce any rules regarding infectious diseases.

"I have consistently opposed vaccine passports and mandating any COVID-19 vaccination. However, this bill goes beyond COVID-19 and implements a one-size-fits-all approach for all infectious diseases. It significantly limits any government entity’s response to any infectious disease outbreak," Kelly said about her decision to veto the bill.

She said it creates safety concerns and could prevent schools and other large entities from responding to outbreaks unrelated to COVID-19, like measles or tuberculosis. She said it could even prevent the agricultural sector from appropriately responding to the avian flu.

"We need to be prepared for what’s down the road to best protect Kansans. This bill puts the safety of all Kansans and our economy at risk," Kelly said.