Texas Legislature

Vaccine Mandates on Third Special Session Agenda for the Texas Legislature

The agenda item deals with state and local entities issuing those mandates

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President Joe Biden is now calling on businesses of 100 or more to require COVID-19 vaccinations or a weekly COVID-19 test.

“This is not about freedom or personal choice, it's about protecting yourself and those around you,” said Biden when laying out a new COVID-19 plan.

While this comes from the federal level, vaccine mandates will be discussed in Texas in the third special session of the Texas Legislature. TX Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) has already filed a bill saying someone's employment can’t be affected by vaccine status.

“Our first job is to protect individual rights,” said Hall.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has put some vaccine mandates on the special session agenda. According to the proclamation, the governor wants "Legislation regarding whether any state or local governmental entities in Texas can mandate that an individual receive a COVID-19 vaccine and, if so, what exemptions should apply to such mandate."

Hall has filed two bills in regards to that. One bans vaccine mandates all together, and that would include schools. A second provides exceptions.

“If a local government does mandate a vaccine, then they also have to accept exemptions. Religious exemptions, medical exemptions, and personal conscience,” said Hall.

Some local lawmakers have been expressing frustration over a loss of local control. Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitely believes vaccine mandate bans are another example.

“We still need to be focused on local control, and we need to stop this business of everything needs to be decided by whatever party is in power in Austin,” said Whitely.

This is just one of five items on the agenda for the third special session. The biggest one is expected to be redistricting.

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