Rhode Island’s Democratic Party is distancing itself from a stringent vaccination mandate bill that would impose a double tax on those who have not received a vaccination and fine parents of unvaccinated children.
Two state lawmakers who had co-sponsored the law introduced by Dem. state Sen. Sam Bell on March 1 have since withdrawn their support for it, according to WJAR-TV.
Bell’s vaccination mandate would demand that each state resident who is at least 16 years old and meets COVID-19 requirements should be vaccinated. Minors under the age of 16 would also have to be immunized, and their parents would be responsible for making sure they complied with the law.
Unvaccinated individuals would be fined $50 per month for non-compliance, and be fined twice the amount of personal income taxes.
Employers would have to make vaccination for in-person work a condition of employment under the bill. Employers who do not comply with the law could be fined up to $5,000 for each infraction.
The bill was referred to the state Senate Health and Human Services committee after being introduced, and there has been no activity on it since.
The Connecticut General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee advanced the measure Tuesday, according to WJAR. State Senators Tiara Mack and Jonathon Acosta withdrew their names from the law after initially supporting it. When contacted for comment, Democratic lawmakers declined to explain why.
However, Bell did not accept an interview with the local news station, but he stated that he believes there is greater public support for a universal vaccination requirement than people realize.
This week, Bell cited a Boston Globe story about a poll that revealed Rhode Island is ranked No. 6 in the country when it comes to people who want a COVID-19 vaccine requirement guaranteed for all citizens. Governor Daniel McKee should support his bill, according to Bell.
“With Dan McGowan reporting that Rhode Islanders still strongly back a universal vaccination requirement, despite the McKee Administration’s efforts to push for surrender, it’s time for us to pass my bill. Cases are on the rise again. Surrender isn’t working,” Bell Said.
According to a poll conducted by the COVID States Project, 55.3 percent of US citizens support a vaccination mandate nationwide.
The Biden administration implemented a federal workplace vaccination requirement for businesses with over 100 employees via executive order in 2016, but it was subsequently struck down by the Supreme Court.