Coronavirus Stop Act passes Senate, heads to House

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 2:44 AM MDT
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BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —Legislation that seeks to prevent individuals from being discriminated against, due to their COVID vaccination status is moving forward, after passing through the Idaho Senate Tuesday morning.

SB1130 passed the Senate 28 to 7. The vote fell along party lines with all the Senate Democrats voting against it, and all the Republicans voting in support.

“When it comes to what goes inside my body, or the body of a loved one in which I’m responsible. That is my decision, period. It’s not the government’s decision. Not the media’s decision. Not some scientist,” Sen. Dane Foreman said.

Floor sponsor Sen. Ben Adams told lawmakers the decision to receive a vaccination, is a personal matter, and a business or employer do not have the right to tell someone what to put in their body.

According to the legislation, anyone doing business in the State of Idaho, private or public, shall not refuse to provide any service, product, admission to a venue, or transportation to a person because that person has or has not received a coronavirus vaccination.

Additionally, any Idaho employer, private or public, cannot require a coronavirus vaccination as a term of employment or discriminate against a current employee due to their vaccination status.

However, it is not unlawful under the legislation for an employer to offer a onetime incentive to an employee to get a coronavirus vaccination, as long is it does not result in any different salary, hourly wage, or ongoing benefits being provided to an employee based on their vaccination status.

The legislation does have exemptions for when a COVID vaccination is required under federal law, or in such cases where the terms of employment include travel to a foreign country where a coronavirus vaccinations is required.

Some Senate Republicans who voted in support of it, felt the legislation could of gone a little farther. They would of liked to seen it pertain to all vaccinations, not just COVID vaccines.

However, those who voted against the legislation saw it as a form of government overreach

“My husband is a small business owner, and he does not want me to interfere with his business, and the safety of his employees,” Sen. Melissa Wintrow said.

According to the legislation anyone in found violation can be prosecuted by the Idaho Attorney General’s Office or the prosecuting attorney for the county where a violation occurred.