AIM Policy Summary: March 4, 2022

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

This legislative summary is for the week of March 4, 2022.

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

Mandates / Exemptions / Passports

  • NE LB 906 was enacted on 2/28/22. It requires employers to offer religious and medical exemptions, allows employers to require periodic COVID-19 testing at the employer’s expense and/or wearing PPE. Caveats included for CMS providers, and federal employees/contractors.

Movement on Existing Bills

COVID-19 School or Daycare Requirements

  • AZ HB 2086 passed the House and was sent to the Senate. It prevents the COVID19 vaccine from being required for school attendance.
  • IA HF 2298 passed the House and was sent to the Senate. It prohibits any COVID-19 vaccine requirement for childcare centers, elementary schools, secondary schools, or post-secondary schools before July 1, 2029.

Mandates / Exemptions / Passports

  • ID H 581 passed the House and is in the Senate. It prohibits employers from terminating employment or altering an employee’s work duties based on a refusal to disclose their COVID-19 vaccine status, for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID19 or any vaccine under an EUA.
  • ID H 719 passed the House and moved to the Senate. This bill says that if an employee requests a religious exemption to COVID-19 mandate, the employer “bears the burden of proof that denying such a request is both essential to furthering a compelling interest and is the least restrictive means of further that interest;” allows for claims against employers
  • IN HB 1001 was signed by the Governor on 3/3/22. In addition to many other things, requires any employer that implements a  vaccine requirement to provide medical and religious exemptions, as well as exemptions if “an employee has immunity from COVID-19 acquired from a prior infection with COVID-19.” Allows the employer torequire COVID-19 testing, no more than twice a week, if the employee receives an exemption.
  • TN SB 1823/HB 1867 was sent to the Governor on 3/2/22. It requires employers to provide medical and religious exemptions without proof, prohibits denying an exemption without a written statement, prohibits firing or reducing compensation. Requires LHP who provide signed medical exemptions to be acting within their scope of practice and makes them immune from civil liability and disciplinary action by a health-related board.
  • UT HB 60 passed the House and is in the Senate for a 2nd reading as of 3/3/22. Prohibits discrimination based on “immunity status” and limits the use of vaccine verification.
  • WI SB 707 passed assembly on 2/23/22. It expands the definition of a veteran to include a person who would otherwise qualify under the existing law but who was discharged under other than honorable conditions solely because the person chose not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • WI SB 708 passed assembly on 2/23/22 This bill provides that a covenant by an assistant, servant, or agent not to compete with his or her employer or principal after the termination of that employment or agency within a specified territory and during a specified time is considered an unreasonable restraint and is considered illegal, void, and unenforceable if the employer or principal employs at least 100 employees and the assistant, servant, or agent is terminated from that employment or agency for choosing not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, or for refusing to provide information regarding the individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status.
  • WV HB 4012 passed the House on 3/1/22 and is in the Senate. Prohibits the showing of proof of a COVID-19 vaccination.

Vaccine "Injury"

  • AZ HB 2619 passed the House and was sent to the Senate. This bill requires the department’s public website’s COVID-19 dashboard to have a syringe icon with a link entitled “Vaccine Injury Data Report” containing national data from VAERS and deaths, hospitalizations, blood clots, allergic reactions, heart-related illness, permanent disabilities. “The website shall include language stating that the reports
    are not proof of causality.”

Pharmacy

  • VA SB 672 passed the House and is in the Senate. This bill requires pharmacists providing vaccines to be reimbursed in an amount that is no less than the reimbursement amount for the same service by a healthcare provider. Allows pharmacists to administer vaccines authorized by ACIP or the FDA, including those under EUA, to people five years and older

Gaining Media Attention

  • Nothing this week.

Introduced Legislation

Includes bills related to: seriously limiting public health authority (4), COVID-19 vaccine records (3), COVID-19 vaccine mandates or requirements (5) (including healthcare, school, daycare, etc.), and employer liability for vaccine injury (1).

  • CA AB 2539 was introduced on 2/17/22, to be heard on 3/20/22. It would require that entities requiring the public to provide their COVID-19 vaccination status to accept 1) a written medical record or 2) a government-issued digital medical record
  • CT HB 5210 was introduced on 2/23/22, to be heard in a public hearing on 3/4/22. It specifies that “forgery of a written instrument” includes forging of any paper or electronic COVID-19 vaccination card or record.
  • GA HB 1394 was introduced on 2/22/22. It would repeal the authority of public health and county boards of health to require vaccination or other measures to prevent contagious or infectious disease
  • GA SB 345 senate committee favorably reported on 2/24/22. It prohibits any governmental entity from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination to access services
  • ID H 698 was referred to committee on 3/1/22. Employers that require COVID-19 vaccine may be liable for vaccine-related accidents or injuries resulting from COVID19 vaccination.
  • ID H 708 prohibits many COVID-19 vaccine requirements for governments and private businesses, including a prohibition on vaccine passports, exceptions for federal requirements, school vaccine requirements, daycare facility requirements, and healthcare setting requirements.
  • KS SB 541 in addition to other things, this bill would empower businesses to file suit and collect compensation for government public health restrictions on business activity, such as gathering limits and mask mandates. Limit public health emergency orders to 30 days. Prohibits the use of a vaccine passport system for post-secondary schools. Prohibit childcare facilities from preventing a child access unless they are actually infected or suspected of being infectious or contagious of a disease. Amends school vaccination requirements to clarify that religious exemptions are for “sincerely held religious belief,” not requiring parent or guardian to name religious denomination, and provides alternative certification if vaccination does not have final FDA approval. Hearing on March 7.
  • LA HB 354 prohibits local governments from requiring proof of vaccine status, retaining the power for the state.
  • MO SB 1203 limits the duration of an emergency to 30 days. Would require any local public health orders to be approved by the  legislative body before going into effect. Orders placing restrictions on opening or access to businesses will automatically terminate after 20 days. Local orders can only occur if the Governor declares an emergency of a statewide pandemic. Authorizes the general  assembly to declare a statewide pandemic through a resolution, limited to 30 days. Limits authority to close schools and places of assembly for the purposes of disease control to the state health  official. Prohibits schools from enforcing dress codes that include masks or face coverings. Prohibits school requirements for COVID-19 vaccination to participate in school events, and also prohibits “test to stay” policies as a condition of school attendance.
  • NJ S 1974 prohibits discrimination against corrections workers, first responders, and health care workers who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine or booster.
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