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Saturday, June 25, 2022
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Series of bills aimed at protections for unvaccinated passes in Wisconsin legislature

The Wisconsin Senate voted to pass a series of four bills Tuesday aimed at protecting those unvaccinated from COVID-19 against workplace requirements.

The Wisconsin Senate voted to pass a series of bills Tuesday that aim to rollback COVID-19 vaccination requirements and protect all employees who wish not to inoculate themselves against the virus.

Wisconsin currently has no statewide vaccine or mask mandates. Some employers, however, have either willingly chosen to require vaccines for their employees or have been required to under federal law.

One proposal would require employers to count previous infection as a substitute for testing or vaccination. 

“This is a vote very much based on science and recognizing the God-given ability to fight off infections that our creator gave us," said Sen. Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma), sponsor of the ‘natural immunity’ bill. 

A second proposal targeted so-called “vaccine passports,” prohibiting businesses, colleges and universities, governments and anyone else in Wisconsin from requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Opponents of vaccine mandates and passports have compared requirements to the Holocaust and Nazi Germany. 

Opponents of the bills included multiple organizations, namely the Wisconsin Medical Society, Wisconsin Public Health Association and Medical College of Wisconsin. 

Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) claimed that Republicans were “coddling the extremists who are refusing to do their part,” and that “the rest of us, the majority of Wisconsinites who have gotten vaccinated, the majority of the country who wants to get on with our lives would like you guys to move on so we can open up again.”

The bills passed along party lines and will now head to the desk of Gov. Tony Evers. Evers, a known supporter of vaccines, has not yet commented on the bills and will therefore likely veto them. 

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