Governor Hutchinson will allow vaccine mandate opt-outs to become law without his signature

Coronavirus

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson will not sign the two bills that would allow employees to choose alternate proof of immunization instead of getting a vaccine if mandated by their employer.

The governor said he will not veto the bills but will allow the bill to become law without his signature.

SB 739 and House Bill 1977 were bills that would mandate testing or proof of immunity as an alternative to vaccine requirements.

The bill is part of an effort by Republicans to challenge President Joe Biden’s order that employers require workers to get vaccinated. 

“These bills are unnecessary and the debate on these bills have been harmful to our goal of increasing vaccination rates in Arkansas,” Governor Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson says the solution is not to place additional mandates on employers at the state government level and not to place the employers in a “squeeze play” between the federal and state government.

Arkansas’ bill has drawn complaints from business groups and hospitals.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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