Idaho Senate panel kills three COVID-19 vaccine bills

Idaho Senate

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Legislature appeared ready on Wednesday to wrap up the extended 2021 session after a Senate committee killed three bills having to do with COVID-19 vaccine legislation.

The Senate State Affairs Committee held all three bills in committee.

One bill involved making it easier for Idaho residents to get worker compensation if they become ill after taking an employee-mandated vaccine.

Another bill would have prohibited questioning the sincerity of people claiming religious exemptions from vaccinations. The third bill would have prevented employers from asking employees whether they have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Lawmakers said versions of the legislation could return when the Legislature meets for its regular session in January.

Lawmakers opposed to the legislation said Idaho already has laws the three bills involved, and that even if passed, the remedy would remain in the courts.

The lawmakers also noted Idaho is involved in three federal lawsuits, and legislation is premature until those cases are decided.

The Legislature primarily reconvened on Monday to consider bills aimed at thwarting President Joe Biden’s vaccine requirements for federal workers and contractors and vaccine requirements for large employers and health care employers.

The House ended up passing seven bills, but none made it through the Senate.

READ: More than 8,600 Idaho children ages 5-11 have initiated COVID vaccination

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