District 88 Representative Kathy Edmonston authored ten bills filed for the 2022 legislative session, six intended to raise vaccine/immunization status to the level of race, religion, national ancestry, age, and sex which are constitutionally protected “from arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable discrimination.” An awful idea, imposing unreasonable burdens upon purely private actors, none of Edmonston’s vaccine status legislation is headed for codification.
House Bill 177 proposed a ballot initiative to amend Louisiana’s Constitution, with a companion bill (HB 253), that would have codified “a person’s vaccination status or immunity status” as one of the immutable “physical conditions” worthy of protection from invidious discrimination. Wisely, Edmonston’s colleagues seem to have rejected (even ignored) the bills which would have enormously expanded government’s ability to intrude into the daily affairs of private actors.
HB 253 came out of the House Civil Law and Procedure committee with a 9-4-1 approval but died on the vine along with HB 177, which never left the starting blocks.
House Bill 47 would have amended Louisiana Revised Statute 17:170 which currently requires “each person entering any school (licensed day care centers and elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools) for the first time to present satisfactory evidence of immunity to or immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases according to a schedule approved by the office of public health or to present evidence of an immunization program in progress. Exempts a student seeking to enter any such school or facility from this requirement if he submits a written statement from a doctor relative to medical contraindication or a written dissent.”
HB 47 would have required “each such school and facility, both public and nonpublic, to accept such statements (which they already do) with an additional requirement that schools inform the student, parent/guardian of the exemption. Unanimous adoption in the House on May 5, the Senate Education Committee amended the bill on May 26 with no date provided for consideration on the Senate floor.” With the session scheduled to end on June 6, it is unlikely that HB 47 can meet the D-Day deadline.
House Bill 48 was much more far-reaching. It read: “No vaccine may be administered on the property of, or at any event sponsored by, any education institution or facility.” Talk about governmental overreach. How about leaving the decision to get the vaccine, or not, to each student and his/her parent or guardian?
Attempting to insert herself in between doctors and patients already, it is no surprise that Representative Edmonston authored this awful bill. Fortunately, it was withdrawn before further besmirching the less than hallowed legislative halls at the State Capital.
House Bill 232 was the ultimate example of crafting a solution to a non-existent problem. It read:
“The Department of Public Safety and Corrections, office of motor vehicles, is prohibited from making the issuance, renewal, or revocation of a state issued driver’s license contingent on vaccination verification or immunity status.
The Department of Public Safety and Corrections, office of motor vehicles, shall not include any vaccination verification or immunity status on a state issued driver’s license.”
The real mystery is how this nonsense got 58 votes when the House or Representatives took it up on March 23. Edmonston was joined by Ascension’s Tony Bacala and Speaker of the House Clay Schexnayder in the majority with Representative Ken Brass absent. Mercifully, HB 232 seems to have died in the Senate Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works (May 19).
House Bill 974, more egregious still, would have provided that “if an employer is required to enforce a vaccine requirement, an employee, or a parent or legal guardian if the employee is a minor, may submit a written statement claiming a medical exemption from or a written dissent or statement of a deeply held religious or philosophical belief against the vaccine requirement. Proposed law further provides that the employer must honor the exemption.” (According to Legislative Digest)
- “That no employer shall discharge any employee or otherwise discriminate against any employee with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of his refusal to adhere to a vaccine requirement.”
- “That each appropriate state agency shall ensure that a business in this state complies with the provisions of proposed law as a condition of obtaining a license or permit for authorization as necessary to conduct business in this state.”
Unworkable, the bill would have necessitated an enormous expansion of governmental intrusion into private affairs. This one could not make it out of the House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee.
House Bill 944 sought to insert BIG GOVERNMENT into the dealings between an insured and his/her insurance provider. It would have prohibited insurers from altering “premiums or deductibles…canceling policy based upon;
- Political ideals;
- Political affiliations; and
- Any value-based or impact-based criteria.”
Has any insurance provider ever inquired into a potential customer’s political ideals and/or affiliations? What does “value-based or impact-based criteria” even mean?
This one died an inglorious death in the House Insurance Committee, just like…
House Bill 7 which would have allowed for court-monitored domestic abuse intervention program sessions to be undertaken electronically; and
House Bill 233 which would have made it more difficult for a convicted felon regain eligibility for “property protection licensure.” Does that mean security guard?
House Bill 145 is the lone Edmonston-authored legislation with a chance, slim though it is, of ultimate adoption. Scheduled for consideration by the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs (May 31), the bill would require legislative “reports to be transmitted to each membern of the legislature via electronic mail.”