Idaho lawmakers introduce several bills aimed at vaccination mandates, employee rights

Idaho lawmakers returned to Boise Monday to address coronavirus vaccine mandates and employee rights.

In all, more than three dozen bills were introduced in the House, with another eight brought forth in the Senate.

Most of the bills take aim at President Joe Biden’s executive orders requiring all federal employees and federal contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19. A third executive order requires all employees in businesses with 100 or more workers to be vaccinated or get tested weekly. That regulation has been blocked temporarily by a federal court injunction.

Nearly half the bills introduced Monday would prohibit mask or vaccine mandates, either by private employers, by state and local governments, by school districts or some combination thereof.

Some bills have been taken up by committees with public hearings scheduled for this week. Among them, one bill involved not allowing employers to require employees get vaccinated to remain employed, while another bill in the works would add natural immunity exemptions to vaccine requirements.

The House and Senate will spend the next few days reviewing the proposed legislation and deciding which bills should advance to a floor vote. After that they’ll finally adjourn the longest session in state history. The 2022 Idaho Legislative session convenes January 10th.

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