Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders of Arkansas (R) has recently signed a bill that prohibits state and local governments from enforcing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for their workers. This decision comes after a previous ban that was in place expired last month.
During a press conference held prior to the signing of the bill on Thursday, Sanders stated that the new legislation is intended to protect the individual liberty of citizens. The bill can be found by clicking on this link.
According to the new legislation, COVID-19 vaccinations cannot be mandated as a prerequisite for education or for acquiring a service, license, permit or certificate. Additionally, the state is required to document and disclose any risks or negative consequences associated with administering the vaccine.
According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the new bill differs from the state’s previous ban on vaccine mandates that was implemented in 2021. The latest legislation extends to vaccines or immunizations for any subvariants of the coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have recently authorized the use of the latest COVID-19 vaccine, specifically created to combat the omicron virus variants that are currently spreading. This vaccine is intended to significantly reduce the severity of the illness caused by these variants. It’s good news for those who are concerned about the recent surge in COVID cases. According to the latest research, this vaccine effectively prevents severe illness and hospitalization from the omicron variant.
On Thursday, a total of 11 bills were signed by Sanders. Among them, she also signed a bill that limits the disclosure of her travel and security records to the public.
The recently passed bill, which is now in effect, provides protection for confidential information regarding the security arrangements of the governor and other constitutional officers. This includes specifics such as the identities of those who travel with the State Police on aeroplanes and the costs associated with individual trips. The bill ensures that this sensitive information remains shielded from public view.
According to Sanders, the decision was imperative for protecting her family. However, a few criticized her, claiming that it would result in a lack of transparency in the government.
During the press conference held on Thursday, State Senator Bart Hester (R) clarified that the newly proposed bill does not impede the ability of elected government officials to review travel receipts through audit. As per the law, the state must also submit a quarterly report that lists the monthly expenses incurred for the governor’s protection.
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