The state House Oversight Committee voted Thursday in favor of a bill that would ban vaccine passports, which will now head to the floor of the House for debate.
House Bill 4667 prohibits “governmental entity from producing, issuing, or providing an incentive for [COVID-19 vaccination passport] under certain circumstances.”
It bans governmental entities from requiring vaccine passports or proof of vaccination. There is at least one other bill pending in the Michigan Legislature that would disallow businesses from making hiring decisions based on vaccination status.
Committee Chair Steve Johnson (R-Wayland), who has been demanding accountability from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office regarding COVID-19 practices, made clear that proof-of-vaccination cards are allowed, but “for the primary purpose of diminishing, or enlarging, individual civil and political rights, privileges, and capacities based on the individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status,” not as a medical record.
Some Democrats are confused by the proactive approach to banning vaccine passports.
According to Rep. David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids), Republicans should wait until such passports are actually mandated, instead of attempting to safeguard the liberty of Michiganders from a state government that has been notoriously stringent in imposing COVID-19 rules on its residents.
“I wouldn’t want to have to scuba dive to go to work,” LaGrand reportedly said. “There’s an infinite number of things we could ban preemptively, but our job, frankly, is to take action and set policy on things that are actively under consideration.”
But vaccine mandates are “actively under consideration,” and have been the topic a great deal of media discussion regarding how America will move forward after the pandemic.
Several other states have moved forward with preemptive bans on vaccine passports.
In late April, Florida became the first state to do so after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill into law stating the proof of vaccination could not be required by either the state, or private companies.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Michigan Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Passport with COVID Vaccination sheet” by The Focal Project C 2.0.