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Bill Barring State Contractors From Having A Vaccine Mandate Clears Idaho House

A hand holds a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine between the thumb and index finger. Other vials with red caps can be seen beneath it in a bin.
AP Images

Idaho House lawmakers voted Tuesday to bar companies contracting with the state from requiring their employees to get vaccinated.

The bill would only affect state contractors – not all businesses in Idaho. If signed into law, it would block these companies from firing or refusing to hire someone based on their vaccine status.

Rep. Priscilla Giddings (R-White Bird), who’s sponsoring the bill, said vaccine mandates are discriminatory.

“Your personal autonomy and not having something forced into your body is a personal right,” Giddings said.

Several Republicans who supported the bill spread misinformation about vaccine efficacy and safety, including Rep. Dorothy Moon (R-Stanley).

Moon claims her son became autistic after receiving a vaccine. Medical researchers have repeatedly disproven any relationship between vaccines and autism.

“There’s no way another Moon will ever take a vaccine until the end of any of our lives,” she said.

But Rep. Lauren Necochea (D-Boise) said vaccine mandates make sense for some workplaces, like a cancer ward at a hospital.

“That’s a place where we want to make sure people are vaccinated during a bad flu outbreak,” Necochea said. “Flu is life or death for people who are immunocompromised.”

The bill ultimately passed 49-21, with nine Republicans joining every Democrat in voting against it.

State senators will take up the issue next.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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