(RepublicanInformer.com)- The state of Iowa is not taking to the federal government’s mandates that some people must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
This week, Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican, signed into law a bill that creates an exception to rules under which individuals can claim a medical or religious exemption from any requirements to get vaccinated.
That bill passed through the state Senate and House last week.
In a statement posted on her website, Reynolds wrote:
“This is a major step forward in protecting Iowans’ freedoms and their abilities to make healthcare decisions based on what’s best for themselves and their families. This legislation also gives employees the assurance that they will still receive unemployment benefits despite being fired for standing up for their beliefs.
“As I’ve stated publicly numerous times, I believe the vaccine is the best defense against COVID-19 and we’ve provided Iowans with the information they need to determine what’s best for themselves and their families, but no Iowan should be forced to lose their job or livelihood over the COVID-19 vaccine.”
In the near future, OSHA will be publishing new federal rules that will require employees of companies that have more than 1,000 employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If they don’t, employers would have the right to ban those people from work and ultimately fire them.
In many states, there aren’t any protections given to these workers, who in many cases won’t qualify for unemployment benefits or other aide if they are fired because they refuse to get vaccinated.
This bill in Iowa seeks to provide that protection.
Reynolds also said that this bill was only one that would seek to push back against overreaches made by the federal government. She said:
“This is only the first step. We will be taking other legal actions against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate.”
In a separate statement, Reynolds said the state would also fight the White House’s new requirement that any worker who is employed by a contractor with the federal government has to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Today, I’m announcing that the State of Iowa is joining a federal lawsuit to challenge President Biden’s unprecedented use of the government to force every employee of every federal contractor in America, including thousands of Iowans, to take a vaccine against their wishes.
“As long as I am governor, the State of Iowa will always stand alongside Iowans and to be sure their freedoms are protected.”
Reynolds has said that the contractor vaccine mandates would only pit some Americans against others, worsening the shortage currently being experienced in the workforce as well as the issues in the supply chain that continue to “hinder our economic recovery.”
The law that Reynolds signed last week adds a religious and medical exemption to the federally-mandated vaccines. It also allows anyone who is fired over Biden’s vaccine mandate to still qualify to receive unemployment benefits.