COVID-19

State GOP considering bills banning mask, vaccine mandates

Republican lawmakers have moved from being against state mandates to mandating what businesses can and cannot do with regard to COVID.

As recently as last month, state Republican leaders were vehemently opposed to state rules forcing businesses to require masks indoors and take other precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Now, the GOP-controlled legislature is considering a bill to block businesses from instituting their own COVID precautions.

GOP leadership wants to bar businesses and public employers such as school districts from “discriminating against” employees who haven’t been vaccinated – not just against COVID-19, but also the flu and other preventable illnesses.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

They’re also looking at fighting mask mandates in schools, where a large portion of students are too young to be vaccinated.

The proposed legislation now being considered would go as far as to prohibit businesses – including hospitals – from requiring unvaccinated workers to wear a face mask. Employees fired for refusing to get vaccinated would be able to sue for damages.

While such bills have little chance of becoming law under a Democratic governor, it shows the evolving politicization of the pandemic.

[Bridge Michigan]

The average story costs NowKalamazoo $400 to produce. Donate to fund stories like this.