Thanks to Texans emphasizing to state lawmakers the importance of individual medical freedom, the Texas Legislature banned so-called “vaccine passports” for business customers statewide. But with the appearance of employer vaccine mandates for workers, the state’s leading vaccine choice advocate says citizens must discuss how to respond and what actions the Republican-controlled Legislature should take in a special session.
“I think the most important thing to emphasize right now is our elected officials are directly responding to us,” Jackie Schlegel, executive director of Texans for Vaccine Choice, told Texas Scorecard. “Oftentimes, we love to point out everything that they’re not doing right for us. But when we’re being vocal and we are putting an emphasis on these issues that are incredibly important to the state of Texas, we have seen that they respond.”
Schlegel says that’s how vaccine passports got banned during this year’s regular legislative session. “They responded to the citizens of Texas,” she continued. “Now the citizens of Texas need to figure out the next steps of what direction we want to go. Where do we want to draw the line as far as informed consent, medical privacy and vaccine choice? And we need to make our voices heard to our elected officials.”
What Did the Legislature Do?
The ”vaccine passport ban”—Senate Bill 968 by State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R–Brenham)—passed the Texas Senate and House by unanimous and near-unanimous votes and was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott on June 16.
It states businesses cannot require customers to show proof of vaccination; if the business does so, it would be denied state taxpayer funds. The law says state agencies “shall ensure” businesses obey, and “may” require they obey as a condition for their license or permit.
“I, for one, am tickled pink that I can walk into
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