In a 13-6 vote, the Alaska State Senate passed a bill recognizing that Alaskans have a fundamental right to decline vaccines, including experimental Covid shots, without suffering coercive forms of discrimination, such as being denied medical treatment, goods and services, employment or access to publicly available facilities and accommodations.

Above are the final votes regarding Senate Bill 156 which bans vaccine-based discrimination in Alaska.

Sponsored by Sen. Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River), the bill now heads to the State House.

Moments before the vote, Reinbold defended her bill and urged lawmakers to support it. She noted that Covid shots have not stopped the spread of the virus, but have caused thousands of adverse reactions and even deaths. She acknowledged that many people took the vaccine in “good faith,” including boosters, and still got Covid.

Reinbold said government officials and employers should not be able to dictate medical care to Alaskans. The bill had overwhelming support during public testimony in several committee hearings earlier this month.

The bill enjoyed bi-partisan support in its final vote to clear the Senate. Five Democrats joined eight Republicans in passing the bill. Republicans who opposed the bill included Senators Click Bishop (Fairbanks), Bert Stedman (Sitka) and Natasha von Imhof (Anchorage).

Sen. Jesse Kiehl (D-Juneau) speaks against Senate Bill 156, which bans vaccine-based discrimination.

Before the final floor vote, a fully masked Sen. Jesse Kiehl (D-Juneau) gave a long speech in opposition. While admitting that Covid shots are “not perfect,” he asserted that the jabs have “almost eliminate death from Covid” and “almost limit hospitalization from Covid.”

Kiehl’s claims contradict a growing number of reports that show vaccinated people are more likely to get infected, and then wind up in the hospital. A new report from Denmark found that nearly 75% of new patients are jabbed. In the U.K., the “fully vaxed” account for the majority of hospitalizations and deaths for every age group above 50.

Kiehl expressed his fears about sitting in a theater “elbow-to-elbow” with unvaxed audience members, and said yet “another variant” might sweep over the world with potentially deadly consequences.

As to whether vaccine requirements rise to the level of “discrimination,” Kiehl claimed they did not. It was more about mitigating the risk of “killing your co-workers and customers.”

Kiehl concluded by warning his colleges against giving fuel to websites that question the effectiveness of vaccines, saying they are “not based on truth.” He categorically blasted these outlets as “disinformation sites.”

Sen. Natasha von Imhof (R-Anchorage) also spoke against the bill, saying businesses should be able to enforce vaccine requirements on customers and employees. She was also concerned that the bill may make it difficult for insurance companies to manage their risks when it comes to clients who have declined the Covid shot.

Sen. Bert Stedman (R-Sitka) also opposed the bill, arguing that businesses should have the freedom to demand vaccination of employees and customers.

Reinbold responded by noting that a business’ freedom should not extend to interfering with a patients relationship with their doctor regarding medical care. She said her bill “helps preserve that sacred relationship” between a health care provider and a patient.

“It’s the most divisive thing – Covid-19 – that I’ve ever seen in the history of my life,” Reinbold said. “We want to stop the discrimination that is going on, where unless people get this jab, they cannot work. This is terribly, negatively impacting the workforce. This bill unifies and defends individual freedoms.”

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Alaska Senate passes bill banning vax-based discrimination

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Patrick Dalton says:

    Remember to call and testify when this goes through the house. This has been a victory for freedom finally. Keep up the involvement folks.

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    Thank you Lora Reinbolt
    Natasha von Imhof (R-Anchorage) she’s a cry baby loser, she needs the boot out of Alaska

    • Kathy says:

      I thought she wasn’t running after this term? Stedman has the Don Young syndrome and needs to retire. That leaves you Fairbanks. Do us all a favor and get rid of Bishop.

  • Greg says:

    I oppose these jabs wholeheartedly, as well as any related government coercion, yet I also oppose the government telling private organizations or individuals what they can or cannot do. I hope those forcing these jabs on their employees go out of business, but when we allow State government to tell people what they can and cannot do, it only empowers and encourages them to expand their control over people’s lives. Think about it. The government thinks it gets to decide who should and should not get married, it kidnaps your children and calls it selective service, it takes our wages by coercion and calls it taxes, it kills and destroys and calls it foreign policy, it undermines family government and calls it equality, the churches….well, most churches sold out to the government (especially if the Republicans are in charge) a long time ago. We are treated as serfs by the ruling class and must just say “yes master.” We need less government intrusion and more people standing up and saying no. Don’t depend on the government to be your backbone. Resist. Say no. Don’t give the government more power. Trusting in political power is the reason why we are in the mess we are in today. Don’t feed the wolves. Don’t confuse civil governance with the monopolized State. If we want freedom, then freedom it must be, even if people make choices we disagree with.

    • Greg says:

      *most just say “yes master.”

    • DoneWithIt says:

      No Greg.
      Primary role of government is to protect the individual rights of its citizens from the state and corporation/businesses.
      To allow businesses to override people’s basic right is fascism. To allow government to override the rights of individuals is called communism.

  • ALElsa says:

    Thank you to Lora Reinbolt and all who voted in favor!!

  • Andy says:

    May God bless Sen Lora Reinbold and those in the Senate who approved of this, it’s almost unbelievable we fight to cling to shreds of liberty, shame on those tyrants who oppose it.

  • Greg Carney says:

    Businesses should be allowed to require vaccinations. Cruise lines, for example, are only recovering their business by assuring passengers that everyone is vaccinated. Nobody has a “right” to be on a cruise.

    • AK Pilot says:

      So what other personal choices of their customers and employees should businesses be able to weigh in on?

      • Greg says:

        All of them. And then those employees and customers can tell them to take a hike and they can go elsewhere. Americans today do not support liberty. They support liberty for themselves, and coercion for those they disagree with. That mentality is why the State is able to bully people. The moral issues of society cannot be addressed through cherry picking. Let people make their decisions. You make yours. In that kind of society, where you can’t force them, then they can’t force you.

    • Frozen-in-AK says:

      Do you have a better example of who should be able to forcibly inject me with an experimental gene therapy? Here’s a CDC copy paste from a few months ago regarding cruise ships.
      CDC December 2021
      “The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily between people in close quarters onboard ships, and the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high, even if you are fully vaccinated and have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose,”
      the warning read.”

      • Johnny says:

        Maybe “very high” but not *as* high. The facts are there, people are staying away from cruise lines that don’t require vaccinations. Maybe that will lead to a cruise line that requires all its passengers to be unvaccinated. Let the market decide how that will go over.

    • AKFatBoy says:

      The cruise lines would be doing far more business if they respected their customers and ditched vaccine mandates. Maybe a different story if the vaccines were doing their job, but how else do you explain COVID outbreaks on fully vaccinated boats?

  • Kathy says:

    I thought she wasn’t running after this term? Stedman has the Don Young syndrome and needs to retire. That leaves you Fairbanks. Do us all a favor and get rid of Bishop.

  • Dirk Pitt says:

    Jesse Kiel, just another Juneauite scared to death, or being paid… is he REALLY that dumb to think some unvaxed person may give him Covid? UK report already has dropped their Covid deaths from about 2k to less than 10k…. the truth is that probably only 150k have actually died of Covid in the US and the average age………………………….82 years old!!! All about making money, control and population reduction as the Jab begins to program the body to make harmful Spike Proteins within 6 hours, which cause all sorts of harm…not hard to find if you do your research. More young people have died from heart issues, clots and other organ failures from the jab by a high multiplier than died from Covid. Not sure how Kiel sleeps at night as scared as he is. Remember folks, 99.7% survival rate. I got Covid, and still can’t taste or smell 3 months later, never been that sick, but not even close to dying (kinda wished I did lol) Its real, it cans suck if you get it, but your more likely to live than if you get in a car accident, only a 93% survival rate. Hey Jesse, you do walk to work right?

  • Dirk Pitt says:

    Sorry 200k to 10k

  • Happy Curmudgeon says:

    Sitka Arts Camp has mandated that all students this summer must be vaccinated. One young attendee was told that their Medical Exemption written by their family doctor was not applicable and the student had to get the jab or don’t come. Mandates are based on fear not science. Group think can be difficult to overcome. And children who have been coerced to get the experimental jab may face long term effects in the future. The passing of this bill is the best news I have heared in a long time!

  • Robert A Schenker says:

    I think it’s interesting how much people like the Senator from Juneau have succumbed to fear. Unfortunately for many their lack of understanding of the problem, ( Covid) has kept them in a State of fear. Senator Kiel claims that an ” un- jabbed” might infect him. The reality is that an un-jabbed person who has beat the infection has NATURAL IMMUNITY, which according to studies is 27 times more effective then all the jabs presently offered.
    Furthermore, the fact remains that the Countries with the highest jab rates also have the highest rate of infection. There Senator, fixed it for you.