The Arizona Senate has passed SB1824, banning any law or ordinance that would mandate the use of vaccine passports by businesses or others.
SB1824 passed the Arizona Senate by 16-14 on Tuesday night and included a floor amendment from Senate President Karen Fann that would put restrictions on the use of vaccine passports within the state. “This state, and any city, town or county of this state are prohibited from establishing a COVID-19 vaccine passport or requiring either of the following: any person to be vaccinated for COVID-19; a business to obtain proof of the COVID-19 vaccination status of any patron entering the business establishment,” the amendment reads.
Schools are also restricted from requiring their students to take the COVID-19 vaccine, as the vaccines only currently have an emergency use authorization from the FDA. Employers must provide “reasonable accommodation” to any employee who has a “sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance” that would prevent them from taking the vaccine, unless such accommodation would “pose an undue hardship and more than a de minimus cost to the operation of the employer’s business.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis last month signed a bill into law that poses severe financial penalties of $5,000 per infraction against any business, school, or government agency that attempts to require individuals to provide proof of vaccination. The bills differ slightly, the language of the Arizona Senate bill does not ban any business from requiring vaccine passports if they choose to do so – any private organization would still be free to mandate proof of vaccinations.
“Tracking people’s medical information is Orwellian and has no place in a free society,” said Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers to the National File.
“I support and voted for SB1824 because it prohibits government agency and university mandated vaccine passports. However, I also support and will push for prohibiting businesses from being able to ask customers for a vaccine passport. I will introduce or co-sponsor a bill with that language again.”