By David Fleet
On June 2, the State House of Representatives voted 62-47 in favor of a ban on vaccine passports. The vote was split along party lines with 58 Republican voting yes and 52 Democrats voting no. Four Democrats Reps. Coleman, Liberati, Sneller and Steenland joined Republicans and voted in favor of the ban.
Co-sponsored by Rep. John Reilly (R-Lake Orion, 46th District, which includes Brandon Township) and introduced by State Rep. Sue Allor (R-Wolverine) the legislation would prohibit governmental entities from producing, issuing or incentivizing documentation for the purposes of certifying that an individual has received a vaccination for COVID-19 or is immunized from the virus.legislation to establish a COVID-19 Vaccination Privacy Act that protects the personal freedoms and individual liberties of Michiganders from government overreach.
“I am working to protect people from government overreach that harms small businesses and industry across our state, and would restrict the freedom of movement that we all enjoy as Americans,” said Allor, of Wolverine. “The notion of a passport offers a dangerous glimpse into government control of some of the most personal decisions in our lives.”
Allor’s proposed bill, which she said will ensure the role of government stays within the confines of the constitution.
“A vaccination passport is just one way government is taking away one of our liberties,” said Rep. John Reilly (R-Lake Orion 46th District includes Brandon Township), in an interview with The Citizen. “It’s an individuals’ right to receive or not receive the vaccination—it’s not the role of government to call out those that make that choice.”
State Rep. John Cherry (D-Flint) was one of 52 House Democrats that voted against the ban on vaccination passports.
“In my district is Hurley Hospital,” said Cherry. “The 443-bed public non-profit hospital is owned by the City of Flint. Under the proposed Bill HB 4667, Hurley falls under the classification of a governmental entity. The ban on vaccination passports would restrict the ability of Hurley as well as other public hospitals statewide to protect their patients. If the vaccination passports are banned individuals could access areas that my be harmful to the health of patients in the hospital.”
State Rep. Mike Mueller, (R-51 Linden), which includes Atlas and Groveland townships favored the ban.
“Government should not be able to refuse service due to a person’s vaccine status,” said Mueller. “This would set a dangerous precedent moving forward.”
As the number of vaccinations locally and statewide continues to climb some public entities are requiring a COVID-19 vaccination.
Oakland University announced on April 5 that students living on campus will be required to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
According to a university news source OU is requiring students who plan to live in the residence halls, apartments and cottages this fall to be vaccinated before moving in on Aug. 27. Exceptions will be made for those who seek an exemption based on religious or medical reasons.