Gov. Noem hesitant on statewide ban on vaccine mandates
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Governor Kristi Noem remains adamant on blocking what she calls ‘unlawful’ COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
However, she’s recently pushed back against efforts by the state lawmakers to force businesses to not implement a mandate.
Representatives John Hansen and Scott Odenbach are introducing legislation called the ‘COVID-19 Vaccine Freedom of Conscience Act.’ The bill would prevent businesses from instituting vaccine mandates of any kind.
Odenbach said that getting vaccinated should be the choice of an individual.
“The intent is to put the power back into the hands of the people and the employees who are subject to mandates for this particular vaccine, when there have been so many questions regarding its efficacy, side effects, etc,” Odenbach said.
Governor Kristi Noem said that while she’s opposed to the idea of vaccine mandates, especially from the federal government, she believes it’s not the responsibility of the state to tell private businesses what they can or can’t do.
Noem’s office saying in a statement Wednesday that “It’s wrong when government oversteps its authorities to tell people how to do business. It’s wrong when the Left does it, and it’s wrong when the Right does it.”
Odenbach disagrees and adds that he believes individual rights deserve more attention in unprecedented times.
“Many people have contacted me saying ‘Are you guys not going to do anything, and let these big businesses make people choose between their career and this vaccine that we have real questions about?’”
Odenbach says he hopes the issue can be addressed before the next session.
If the state legislature were to act on this, a special session would have to be called.
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