Kansas ups penalties for battery of healthcare workers

On June 8, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly ceremonially signed a bill to increase the criminal penalties for people convicted of battery of a healthcare provider.

The law, which takes effect July 1, amends the crime of battery to define battery against a healthcare provider as "a battery committed against a healthcare provider while such provider is engaged in the performance of such provider's duty."

Under the new law, battery against a healthcare provider is now a Class A misdemeanor. 

"The number of stories we've heard over the last few years of healthcare workers being harassed and abused while doing their jobs is appalling and unacceptable," Ms. Kelly said in a news release. "This bill is a win for our state, showing that both sides of the aisle can come together to save lives and protect healthcare workers."

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also recently signed a bill to enhance criminal penalties for people who knowingly commit assault or battery upon workers at a hospital. 

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