GOVERNMENT

Group opposing business vaccine mandates petitioned Utah lawmakers not to allow them

Sep 15, 2021, 8:29 PM | Updated: Sep 16, 2021, 3:07 pm
Vaccine mandates...
(Photo by Patrick T. Fallon / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — A group opposed to federal vaccine mandates for businesses flooded a legislative committee meeting Wednesday, arguing Utah should pass legislation protecting businesses from requiring employees to be vaccinated.

The group, Utah Open for Business, argued to the Heath and Human Services Committee that Utah’s economy would suffer if President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandates for businesses were allowed to take effect.

“Most people who refuse the vaccine are ideologically opposed, and will not get it because an employer says they must. They will quit or be fired,” Spokesperson Kristin Chevrier said. 

President Biden’s order also allows employees to opt-out of vaccines for weekly testing.

The meeting got contentious at times as the group had to be quieted by Chairman Senator Mike Kennedy, and was told to hold their applause and boos.

Some of those boos were directed at Representative Jen Daily-Provost. She pushed the group for clarification on whether they wanted an outright ban on businesses requiring vaccines, or the decision left up to businesses.

“Do you believe that it is the right of a business to make that decision for themselves or are you suggesting that we as a state outlaw a businesses’ ability to make that decision?”   

To which one of the group’s presenters replied, “I think the business should have the right to make that decision.”

Other boos came toward Representative Dr. Suzanne Harrison, who said as a doctor she was in Utah’s Covid ICU last week and shared about how full it is. She also pleaded for the group to “get the politics” out of this discussion.

“My whole family is vaccinated, I recommend vaccines,” she said. “Get your information from reputable sources, like your doctor,” she said as the boos started and were quickly silenced.

 What happens if there’s competing federal and state laws

Some lawmakers seemed skeptical about whether Utah can do anything in regards to President Biden’s potential mandates.

“Even if we were to pass a proposed bill or this concept, we would most likely find ourselves in contravention of that federal rule or law,” said Senator Jake Anderegg. 

He, and others, sympathized with the group’s sentiment about federal overreach.

“Don’t throw your venom necessarily at us, even though I get it, this is your chance to vent. But many of us up here are on your side.”

Will lawmakers run this bill?

It’s unclear whether Republican lawmakers will actually run this legislation, they took no action in the meeting today. However, Representative Daily-Provost talked to KSL Newsradio on Tuesday night, the night before this meeting.

She was of the opinion then that this presentation was “tee-ing up” the idea for the bill.

Today’s Top Stories

Government

republicans and mitt romney...
Lindsay Aerts

Some Utah lawmakers trying to get rid of clergy exeption in state’s mandatory child abuse reporting law

Utah's mandatory child abuse reporting law has an exemption that doesn't require clergy to report it. Some state lawmakers want to remove that exemption.
2 days ago
Utah Democrats Gene Davis...
Lindsay Aerts

‘So no one else gets hurt:’ Utah Democratic Party pushes for Davis suspension

Salt Lake County Democrats have already suspended Sen. Gene Davis, and members of the Utah Democratic Party want to do the same.
3 days ago
Midterm Elections...
Chris Jacobs

BYU study finds lower voter turnout among certain demographics

The study found minorities, voters under 30, and Democrats are less likely to vote while Republicans over 30 had the highest rate of voter turnout.
3 days ago
garland unseal Trump...
Tierney Sneed, CNN

Merrick Garland says FBI files motion to unseal Trump Mar-a-Lago warrant

The move comes after days of silence from the Justice Department regarding the search, as is the department's practice for ongoing investigations.
3 days ago
A Utah lawmaker is considering proposing an amendment to the state's constitution if the trigger la...
Simone Seikaly

Utah Attorney General asks for permission to appeal trigger law injunction

The injunction bars enforcement of SB 174, Utah's abortion "trigger law" until a lawsuit in district court is resolved.
3 days ago
Money is exchanged at a food stand while workers wear face masks inside Grand Central Market on Wed...
CHRISTOPHER RUGABER AP Economics Writer

US wholesale inflation rose more slowly in July

The monthly decline in wholesale prices follows a government report Wednesday that showed consumer inflation was unchanged from June to July — the first flat figure after 25 straight months of increases.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Group opposing business vaccine mandates petitioned Utah lawmakers not to allow them