(PatrioticPost.com)- Lawmakers in Arkansas are trying to reduce the impact of President Joe Biden’s new vaccine mandate that was placed upon private businesses.
The state lawmakers are hoping to provide some workarounds and loopholes so that not all workers at certain companies have to get vaccinated.
In September, Biden issued an order that will require employees at all companies across the country that employ at least 100 people to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of their employment. The president even said that he would impose huge fines through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to those businesses that didn’t comply.
Most Republicans across the country were opposed to the mandate, but those in the state of Arkansas are trying to do something about it. They’re hoping to be able to appease people in their state who either don’t need the vaccine, don’t want it or can’t take it.
According to a report published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Republican Party in the state is working to create bills that would provide exemptions to the vaccination requirement.
One way workers could get an exemption is if they could prove they have natural immunity to coronavirus after they were infected with COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises against any antibody testing to prove natural immunity to COVID-19.
Another workaround to the vaccine mandate would be if employees agreed to submit to regular coronavirus testing to prove they were not positive.
While Democrats are likely to oppose the bills, Republicans have control of both the state Senate and state House in Arkansas.
Commenting on the situation, state Senator Kim Hammer, a Republican, said:
“This is what we felt we could get through to give employees some protection.”
The local newspaper reported that both the upper and lower chamber of the Arkansas General Assembly will be working with the public health committees to create identical bills. These bills seek to address the situation where people could risk being fired if they refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Employees could opt-out of that requirement, according to the potential legislation. People who were ultimately fired by their companies for refusing to get vaccinated would also become eligible for the state’s unemployment benefits.
A potential hurdle for the bills in Arkansas isn’t just the Democratic Party, though. It could come from a member of their own party, Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson.
Recently, he said he wasn’t in favor of state lawmakers trying to add job protections to state workers. He told the paper:
“To use [the extended session] as a means to bootstrap yourself into a whole host of other issues doesn’t make sense to me, and it doesn’t seem to fit within the constitution.”
While the governor said he hasn’t read the bills just yet, he would rather see the legislature focus on the complicated issue of redistricting after the 2020 Census.
This doesn’t mean that Hutchinson wouldn’t ultimately sign the bills if they came to his desk, but it doesn’t appear to be a sure thing.