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Bill to ban government-issued vaccine passports sent to Senate floor

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine distribution photo
Jake May/The Flint Journal
Associated Press

Bill could be up for a vote within a week.

A legislative committee has adopted and sent to the Senate floor a bill to ban the state or a local government from demanding proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

The bill was adopted by the Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee Thursday on a party-line vote, and makes it illegal for a unit of government to create a “vaccine passport” or require proof of vaccination to access a public service.

Republican Rep. Sue Allor dialed in testify online in support of her bill, which has already cleared the state House.

“The control of one’s daily life based on whether one is immunized or not is frightening,” she said. Allor was not able to cite an example of a government entity creating or requiring a vaccine passport.

“I’m looking at this bill as being preemptive to ensure that citizens within the state of Michigan are not going to at some point in time be required to show a vaccine passport,” she said.

That prompted Democratic Sen. Winnie Brinks to suggest cementing this into law would be premature.

“I guess I just see this as a solution in search of a problem that does not yet exist,” she said.

There’s no known efforts by the state to create a vaccine passport, although some state universities – which are autonomous under the Michigan Constitution -- do require proof of vaccination.

Democratic Sen. Sylvia Santana was a “no” vote. She said vaccines are a proven public health tool that have been used to stop the spread of deadly diseases such as polio.

“All these different elements that have impacted so many people and yet we have got our vaccines for those and those are almost non-existent because people have gotten their vaccinations,” she said.

The bill was sent to the Senate floor, where it could be up for a vote as soon as next week.

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