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3.2.21 – KSHB

The Republican-controlled Legislature is considering several measures arising out of the pandemic or Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s response to it. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would give businesses an extra year of protection, until March 31, 2022, from lawsuits from customers or employees who contract COVID-19 if those businesses were “in substantial compliance” with public health orders.

But the general protection from lawsuits for stores, restaurants, bars and other businesses is due to expire March 31. Supporters of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s bill said extending the protection another year will give lawmakers time to see how many cases arise.

Eric Stafford, a lobbyist for the influential Kansas Chamber of Commerce, said the group hasn’t heard of any cases, but, “If COVID never goes away, we would prefer that the liability protection never goes away.”

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