The legislature’s amendment affirms that citizens may refuse to show proof of vaccination for any reason, not only for narrow religious or medical concerns.
At a hearing, state Rep. Rick Ladd, R-Grafton, said the amendment provides that “no New Hampshire entity shall compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by anyone who objects to such vaccination for any reason.”
State Rep. Laura Telerski, D-Hillsborough, said the Republicans irresponsibly passed legislation to ban vaccine mandates because the so-called pandemic has not ended and COVID-19 cases in the state continue to rise.
“This is a medical crisis and to tell medical organizations, or businesses, they are now not allowed to require vaccines—when it’s a life or death situation for many—I think it’s wrong,” Telerski said.
The amendment would challenge President Joe Biden‘s federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which he directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to implement on all business that have more than 100 employees. Congress did not authorize the mandate.
Ladd criticzed Biden’s far-reaching executive authority.
“This unnecessary mandate is trampling state powers and local private businesses; imposing new burden on employers when they can least afford it—it is an infringement on personal rights and making life harder for the unvaccinated who want to work in an economy which already has too few workers,” said Ladd.
The New Hampshire House Education Committee passed the amendment with an 11-8 vote. Both the New Hampshire House and Senate have yet to approve it.
Even if the full New Hampshire General Court passes the amendment, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu does not seem disposed to sign any prohibition on vaccine mandates, despite his opposition to government-imposed vaccine mandates.