Louisiana House Passes Bill to Ban State and Local Government COVID Vaccination Mandates | Louisiana

(The Center Square) — Legislation prohibiting state and local governments from requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to enter public places and private businesses cleared the House this week.

Lawmakers voted 64-31 to approve House Bill 990sponsored by Rep. Thomas Pressly, R-Shreveport, to prohibit state and local governments from requiring proof of vaccination as a condition of entry to public spaces and businesses.

“This bill does three things: First, it prohibits public vaccine warrants for COVID vaccines for entry into public or private property and for receiving goods or services,” Pressly said Wednesday. “It also has in provision B, deals with federal law and avoids preemption issues.

“And then, thirdly, it allows companies to decide whether or not to implement their own policies for their business,” he said.

Rep. Beryl Amedée, R-Gray, offered a amendment to the bill that would have deleted the third provision, which reads “nothing in this part shall be construed or interpreted as prohibiting or otherwise impairing the rights of any private company or other private entity wishing to implement a policy , procedure or requirement regarding COVID -19 vaccines.”

“The deletion of Section C does not affect the overall intent of the bill,” she said. “The intent of the bill is to prohibit government discrimination based on COVID vaccination status. Section C is not necessary to achieve this purpose.

“Keeping Section C is problematic. Section C greenlights, endorses and promotes religious and medical discrimination in the private sector,” she argued.

Representative Raymond Crews, R-Bossier City, also came out in favor of eliminating Section C.

“First of all, I don’t think this paragraph is relevant to the bill at all,” he said. “Secondly, I agree with the precept, but not with the implementation or the result. It restricts individual freedom, and I don’t think it’s necessary.”

AmedeeThe amendment would also have injected the words “valid and enforceable” with respect to exempt federal laws into Section B of the bill.

Section B states: “The provisions of this Part do not apply to any COVID-19 vaccination mandate that is required under federal law or regulation.”

Amedee argued that the federal government had delegated the enforcement of vaccination mandates to private companies, “and the mandates are now rescinded.”

Pressly opposed the two amendments proposed by Amédée.

“I think it’s important to… make it very clear that companies decide what they want to do for their business,” he said. “Companies are owned by individuals, and I think it’s important that we keep that language.”

Pressly argued that the words “valid and enforceable” are unnecessary, citing U.S. Supreme Court precedent in Marbury v. Madison.

“It deals with what the courts are entitled to decide,” he said. “And what they’re saying is the court makes that decision. If it’s not valid federal law, then it’s not valid and enforceable, so it’s just not necessary language. .”

AmedeeThe amendment ultimately failed by a vote of 21-71.

HB 990 is now heading to the Senate for consideration.

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