Jan 21, 2022

Gov. signs bill to provide relief for Kansas health care workers

Posted Jan 21, 2022 8:00 PM
photo courtesy office of Governor Laura Kelly
photo courtesy office of Governor Laura Kelly

TOPEKA – On Friday, Governor Laura Kelly signed House Bill 2477, which extends provisions in Executive Orders 22-01 and 22-02 until January 20, 2023. HB 2477 allows staffing flexibility at health care and long-term care facilities throughout the state to address staffing shortages that continue to strain the health care system. 

“This legislation will mitigate the shortage of health care providers while we deal with the Omicron surge,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I want to thank the Legislature for their bipartisan support and swift action to get this bill to my desk. Our front-line health care workers have been overwhelmed by the highly contagious Omicron variant, and they need our support now.”  

“This legislation will not alleviate all the problems hospitals are facing. Ultimately, what will alleviate the strain on our front-line medical workers is getting yourself and your children vaccinated and boosted. Vaccines are safe, they’re free and effective, and they are the easiest way to protect yourself and your loved ones,” Governor Kelly said. 


TOPEKA — On Friday afternoon, Governor Laura Kelly will deliver brief remarks and take action on House Bill 2477.  This bill enacts into law two Executive Orders that provide staffing flexibility to address staffing shortages in health care and long term care facilities due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Kelly originally issued the two executive orders January 6.  One allows hospital staff to perform a broader range of duties. The other makes licensing of nursing home workers more flexible so homes can hire people whose licenses have lapsed and fill less-skilled jobs with workers who have relatively little or no previous training.

The declaration also suspended rules and regulations if “strict compliance” would hinder efforts to address their problems.

“We’re creating flexibility to allow routine care to be provided by alternative staff so that the more complex and serious cases can be handled by clinical staff,” Kelly said during Jan. 6, Statehouse news conference.

The state’s emergency management laws limited the declaration to 15 days and were set to expire. Lawmakers voted to extended it. The Senate approved the bill 36-2, and the House approved minor changes in the the Senate version 96-4, sending the bill to Gov. Kelly. Kelly said she wants to keep it in place through March. 

- The Associated Press contributed to this report