By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) on Friday signed both bills opposing with COVID-19 vaccine mandates into law. Ivey reiterated her opposition to President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates.
“Last week, when I issued my executive order to fight the overreaching Biden vaccine mandates, I reiterated that as long as I am your governor, the state of Alabama will not force anyone to take the covid-19 vaccine,” Ivey said in a statement. “From the moment the White House rolled out their scare tactic plans to try to force this vaccine on Americans, I called it for what it is: an un-American, outrageous overreach. Alabamians – including those like myself who are pro-vaccine – are adamantly against this weaponization of the federal government, which is why we simply must fight this any way we know how. That is exactly why I have signed Senate Bills 9 and 15 into law. This is another step in the fight, but we are not done yet.
“From issuing the executive order to joining governors in Georgia, South Carolina and other states in suing the Biden Administration, we are doing everything we can to try to get this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court where, hopefully, this overreach will be stopped dead in its tracks,” Ivey continued. “If the Biden Administration presses on with these mandates, the country’s economy will suffer for it. Alabamians – and all Americans – should not have to choose between putting food on the table and getting this shot. I will continue doing everything I can as your governor to fight this thing every step of the way. Alabama will not stand idly by and allow the Biden Administration to get away with this.”
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall asks “"Where is the urgency?" after filing a legal challenge to block President Joe Biden’s private-employer vaccine mandate, set to take effect on January 4, 2022. See the story in Latest News.
The Alabama Legislature passed both SB 9 and SB 15 late on Thursday night to provide some relief to Alabamians who are struggling to deal with COVID-19 vaccination mandates from their employers and the Biden Administration. The legislature finalized drafts of the two bills in an extended session that went late into the night.
Senate Bill 9 is sponsored by State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Fairhope). It sets state standards for religious and medical exemptions from vaccine mandates.
Senate Bill 15 is sponsored by State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur). SB 15 requires that a minor child have written parental consent from their parent before getting a COVID-19 vaccination. It also prevents schools from asking about a child’s COVID-19 vaccine status. A provision that would have authorized the Attorney General’s office to issue injunctions against businesses who defy Alabama’s ban on vaccine passports was stricken from the bill by the conference committee (in Alabama - a conference committee is a committee of three state senators and three House of Representatives members who prepare a compromise bill after the house of origin rejects changes to legislation by the second House.)
On Thursday, the House wrote substitute versions of both SB 9 and SB 15. The two bills went back to the Senate for concurrence with the House changes. The Senate voted not to concur with the House changes. A six-member conference committee then prepared changes to the legislation and brought those bills back to both the House and Senate, which then passed the conference committee version late Thursday night. The legislature then ended the second special session and went home.
The Governor’s legal team then reviewed the two bills and Ivey signed them on Friday.
Thousands of Alabamians have refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine and they are facing pending terminations, including all of the employees at the University of Alabama, Auburn University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Employers with 100 or more employees have been ordered by Biden to mandate the vaccine. Medical providers who accept Medicare or Medicaid funds have also been ordered to have all employees vaccinated as well as federal contractors – state universities fall under that last category.
According to the latest polling, 70.9% of Alabamians and 88.1% of self-identified Republicans say that they did not think “the Federal Government should regulate personal health decisions.”
Ivey has taken the COVID-19 vaccine and is urging everyone who can, to take the vaccine.
Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) told reporters on Wednesday, “I have been vaccinated. I support the vaccine, I have urged members of my family to get the vaccine.”
Persons who get the COVID-19 vaccine are less likely to get COVID-19, according to the CDC, and if they do get COVID-19, they are less likely to suffer severe complications from the virus including death. 15,734 people in Alabama have died with COVID-19, the Alabama Department of Public Health reports.