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Wyoming Senate begins work on last two vaccine mandate bills

Wyoming Senate
Bob Beck
/
Wyoming Public Media
Wyoming Senate

Despite some grumbling, the Wyoming Senate gave initial approval to two bills intended to address vaccine mandates. The biggest of the two is House Bill 1001 that creates a mechanism for businesses that may want vaccine mandates while also trying to protect employees who don't want vaccines.

Earlier in the day members of the business community complained that the bill is anti-business and confusing for employers. Casper Sen. Jim Anderson said it's confusing for everybody.

"This bill is so convoluted and complex for everyone even in this body to understand, let alone in the general public. They won't get it," said Anderson.

Sheridan Sen. Bo Biteman was especially upset that more is not being done to protect those who don’t want vaccines for religious reasons.

"This is to me, the most egregious trampling of religious liberties I've seen, this is really bad," he said.

Biteman added that many businesses are rejecting religious exemption requests, most notably at hospitals owned by Banner Health. Casper Sen. Drew Perkins said there are limits on what can be done.

The Senate eventually voted to advance the bill to second reading. The Senate also approved House Bill 2002, which opposes enforcement of vaccine mandates by adding $10 million into the legislation to litigate against mandates. The bills will be debated for a second time on Tuesday.

Bob Beck has been News Director of Wyoming Public Radio since 1988. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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