AIM Policy Summary: March 25, 2022

Each week, AIM staff compile new or moving legislation in jurisdictions all over the country.

This legislative summary is for March 18-25 and encompasses two weeks.

Please Note: AIM is striving to monitor fast-moving state legislative developments. The information included in this summary may not be comprehensive and is subject to change. Please consult the linked jurisdiction websites for the most up-to-date information on each bill. If you are aware of missing information, please notify us. For individualized support, contact AIM Policy Consultant Brent Ewig. AIM would like to thank ASTHO for the ongoing partnership and support that makes these summaries possible and invite you to check out AIM’s Policy Toolkit for more legislative resources.

Enacted Legislation

COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates/Exemptions

  • TN SB 1823 (aka HB 1867) was enacted on 3/11/22. Requires an employer with a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy to grant exemptions based on medical reasons (supported by a statement from a licensed healthcare practitioner) or religious reasons
    and makes other related changes.
  • UT HB 53 was enacted on 3/22/22. Requires an employer to exempt an employee or a prospective employee from a coronavirus vaccine requirement if the employee submits a primary care provider’s note stating that the employee or prospective employee was
    previously infected by coronavirus.
  • WY HB 8 was enacted on 3/8/22. Relates to veterans benefits and exemptions, allows veterans to be considered honorably discharged if discharged solely for refusing a COVID-19 vaccine.

Movement on Existing Bills

COVID-19, Mandates, and Exemptions

  • AK SB 156 passed the Senate and moved to the house on 3/16/22. This bill states that an individual may object to the administration of a COVID-19 vaccine based on religious, medical, or other grounds and cannot be required to provide justification or documentation of this decision. Also, this bill prevents individuals from being refused goods, services, etc. due to their vaccination status.
  • AZ SB 1567 passed the Senate and moved to the house on 3/17/22. This bill prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee based on vaccination status and from inquiring into an employee’s religious beliefs. Additionally, this bill requires employers to allow employees to opt-out of vaccination requirements if they complete a COVID-19 religious exemption form.
  • GA SB 345 passed the Senate and moved to the house on 3/11/22. This bill prohibits state/local governments from mandating COVID-19 vaccine passports, thereby prohibiting any governmental entity from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination to access services.
  • ID H 698 passed the house and moved to the Senate on 3/08/22. This bill states that employers that require COVID-19 vaccine may be liable for vaccine-related accidents or injuries resulting from COVID-19 vaccination required during employment or as a condition of hire.
  • ID H 708 passed the house and moved to the Senate on 3/04/22. This bill prohibits many COVID-19 vaccine requirements for governments and private businesses. This includes a prohibition on vaccine passports and exceptions for federal requirements, school vaccine requirements, daycare facility requirements, and healthcare setting requirements.
  • KY HB 28 passed the house and moved to the Senate on 3/10/22. This bill prohibits public entity employers and postsecondary schools from requiring employees, students, staff, or faculty members to disclose their vaccination status. Additionally, this bill  amends discrimination laws to include vaccination status and bans vaccine passports.
  • MS HB 1509 passed in both the house and senate. Prevents discriminating against a person, based upon their covid-19 vaccination status  r possession of a covid-19 immunity passport.
  • WI AB 299 passed in both the house and senate. Prohibits proof of vaccination for COVID-19 as a condition of receiving business and government services.
  • WI AB 316 passed in both the  house and the Senate on 3/8/22. Prohibits state and governmental entities from discriminating against a person based on COVID-19 vaccination status or ability to show proof of vaccination (see also SB 342).
  • WV H 4012 passed the Senate and  bill be sent to governor on 3/24/22. This bill prohibits the showing of proof of a COVID-19 vaccination.

Pharmacy

  • VA SB 672 was sent to the governor on 3/22/22. Allows pharmacists and pharmacy technicians acting under the supervision of a pharmacist to initiate treatment with and dispense and administer vaccines and tests for COVID-19.

Gaining Media Attention

  • A Louisiana group, Bayou Mama Bears, is working with the state attorney general and Children’s Health Defense to challenge the state’s plan to require COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 and up in schools.
  • On March 16, the Iowa Senate Judiciary Committee passed HF 2298, a bill banning COVID-19 vaccine requirements for enrollment at child care centers, K-19 schools, community colleges, and universities prior to July 1, 2019 (previously mentioned in other summaries. During the meeting on the bill various misinformation and conspiracy theories on vaccines were shared by legislators. The decision to advance the bill comes as a new Iowa poll finds that support for mandatory vaccines in schools has dwindled in the state.
  • The Kansas Senate health panel added language that would allow religious exemptions for all childhood vaccinations to H.B. 2280, a bill meant to make it easier for doctors to prescribe off-label drugs (such as ivermectin) to treat or prevent COVID-19 without facing repercussions from the licensing board. The language was copied from S.B. 398, which was introduced in January 2022 but never had a hearing.
  • A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction on D.C. Law 23-193, also known as the Minor  Consent for Vaccinations Amendment Act of 2020, which allowed doctors to provide vaccines to children over the age of 11 without parental consent. This is gaining media attention through groups like ICAN.
  • Colorado’s H.B. 22-1100 is garnering some attention from health freedom groups. The legislation seeks to prohibit discrimination based on COVID-19 vaccination status. The bill is scheduled for a hearing in the Health and Insurance Committee on April 6.

Introduced Legislation

COVID-19 School Requirements and Exemptions

  • LA HB 413 – This bill requires that any communication issues to students or parents about COVID-19 vaccine requirements (or requirements for any vaccine approved by the FDA for less than five years) shall include exemption information.

Mandates

  • MI HB 5728 – A bill to prohibit employers from discriminating against employees who have been infected with COVID-19 and who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19; to prohibit retaliation, and to provide remedies.
  • MO SB 702 – Would expand the existing prohibition on a governmental COVID-19 vaccine requirement to private facilities offering public accommodations. Expressly prohibits a vaccine requirement, or a testing option in lieu of vaccination, for schools and institutions of higher education.
  • NJ A 3575 – Prohibits State from requiring private businesses to confirm individuals received COVID-19 vaccine for entry on the premises of the private business.
  • OK HJR 1055 – A Joint Resolution directing the Secretary of State to let the people vote on a proposed amendment to the state constitution called the “Vaccine Mandate Nullification Act of 2022.”
  • RI SB 2552 – Governmental COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all Rhode Island workers and residents over age 16. Includes a monthly monetary penalty for noncompliance.
  • NH HB 1332 – Would exempt universities and colleges from the “Medical Freedom from Immunizations” law passed in 2021.
  • SC H 4942 – Requires any COVID-19 vaccinator to obtain written informed consent prior to administering the vaccine.
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