On Friday, the Idaho House passed the Coronavirus Pause Act on a 45-23 vote, which is the latest piece of legislation coming from the state intended to block vaccine requirements.
The bill bans businesses throughout the state from refusing “service, product, admission to a venue or transportation” to anyone who has not received he coronavirus vaccine, and it also prohibits businesses from requiring “a coronavirus vaccination as a term of employment unless required by federal law.”
The state Senate had already approved the measure by the time the House voted on it last week, and now, Gov. Brad Little, a Republican who was not expected to block the legislation, has just a few days to either sign it or veto it before it automatically becomes a law on its own. Even though the bill faced some opposition, no one in the House chose to debate against it on the floor.
The bill additionally prohibits local government entities, including local school districts, from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations. Violations of the bill lead to misdemeanor charges with a punishment of up to a $1,000 penalty.
The measure does not have very many exceptions, but it does provide an exemption for companies covered by federal law, previously existing employer-employee contracts, and businesses that receive funding for Medicare and Medicaid.
Idaho is hardly the first state to push through legislation against vaccine requirements. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida signed an executive order back in December that prohibits private businesses as well as schools from requiring those particular vaccinations. Fellow Republican and governor of North Dakota Doug Burgum signed a bill that does the same for state and local governments.