Legislation containing a prohibition on vaccine passports, and reforms of state powers in a health emergency, is heading to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. A call to action has gone out encouraging citizens to encourage Abbott to sign the bill into law.
Since the Biden-Harris Administration’s announcement earlier this year they were working on creating vaccine passports, Texans for Vaccine Choice have been pushing legislators to follow Florida’s lead and protect individual rights from further government-overreach.
The fruit of their labor was realized when Senate Bill 968 by State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R–Brenham), and sponsored in the Texas House by State Rep. Stephanie Klick (R–Fort Worth), passed the House by a vote of 146-2 on May 26, with the Senate agreeing to House amendments just four days later.
“Mandatory public or private Vaccine Passports will now be prohibited in Texas through my SB 968 that is on its way to Gov. [Greg Abbott],” Kolkhorst stated on May 30.
The bill states “a governmental entity” in the state cannot create passports that “certify” someone’s vaccination status to others, or share that personal information, “for a purpose other than health care.” Businesses likewise cannot require customers to show such information, or they’d be denied state taxpayer funds. State agencies “may” also require businesses abide by this as a condition for their license or permit.
Businesses are still allowed to have COVID-19 “screening and infection control protocols” that line up with state and federal law.
SB 968 is similar to Florida’s Senate Bill 2006, which is their own ban on vaccine passports signed into law last month by Gov. Ron DeSantis, with two exceptions. While Texas’ SB 968 says state taxpayer funds may be denied and licenses or permits may be threatened, Florida’s SB 2006 says those who break the law face a maximum
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