The next public hearing on a proposed bill to prohibit vaccine discrimination in Alaska is set for March 1 in the Alaska State Senate.
The first hearing on Feb. 8 received overwhelming support from those who called in to testify before the Senate State Affairs Committee. Introduced by Sen. Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River), Senate Bill 156 affirms that Alaskans have a fundamental right to decline Covid shots without having to endure various forms of discrimination.
If passed, the bill would explicitly prohibit state agencies or political subdivisions from adopting any policy that “requires an individual to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order for the individual to exercise a right or receive a benefit that is available to the public.”
Additionally, the bill bans the state from requiring Alaskans to produce documentation of a Covid injection or to produce a Covid immunity passport in order to travel within the state.
ALASKA WATCHMAN DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX
The bill also bans individuals or governmental entities from denying employment, public accommodations or any local or state services, goods, facilities, advantages, privileges, licensing, educational opportunities, health care access, or employment opportunities based on the individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status.
Finally, the bill affirms that individuals may object to Covid shots based on religious, medical or other grounds, and parents can object to Covid jabs for their children based on the same criteria. Those who object on the basis of their faith would not be required to provide further justification or proof that their beliefs were indeed sufficiently authentic.
The bill is now in the Senate Health and Social Services Committee, chaired by Sen. David Wilson, where a public hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. on March 1.
— Click here to contact members of the Senate Health & Social Services Committee.
— To call in and testify on March 1, contact your local Legislative Information Office for more information, or call 907-465-4648.