SUPPORT AB 23 and AB 25 Prohibiting COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates by State and Local Health and Employers
Dear Wisconsin NVIC Advocacy Team Members,
Your action is needed to support two good bills that are scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Committee on Constitution and Ethics on Wednesday, March 3, at 10:00 AM.
AB 23 would prohibit the Department of Health and local health officials from mandating COVID-19 vaccines and AB 25 would prohibit employers from mandating COVID-19 vaccines as a condition of employment. These are companion bills to SB 4 and SB 5 that passed the Senate Committee on Human Resources on 1/21/2021. We need these bills to pass on the Assembly side too.
- Attend the hearing on 3/3/2021 beginning at 10:00 AM in North Hearing Room (2nd Floor North) and offer testimony in support of AB 23 and AB 25. Social distancing guidelines may limit seating available in the North Hearing Room. Individuals who testify in-person may be asked to leave the room following their testimony, allowing other people to enter the room for testimony. Time limits may be imposed to allow all registrants an opportunity to testify. Additional public access may be provided through an overflow room and the State Capitol Rotunda. Members of the public may submit testimony and hearing slip information to the chairman at firstname.lastname@example.org See agenda and Information on how to testify at a public hearing. There is no virtual option for individuals who wish to speak but are unable to attend.
- If you are unable to attend in person, you can submit written testimony to William Neville, Clerk for the Assembly Committee on Constitution and Ethics at William.Neville@legis.wisconsin.gov. Copies of your written testimony will be distributed to committee members.
- Contact members of the Assembly Committee on Constitution and Ethics and ask them to support AB 23 and AB 25. See contact information and talking points below.
- Contact your own Wisconsin State Assembly Representative and them to support AB 23 and AB 25. If you do not know who your State Representative is, register/login to the NVIC Advocacy Portal at http://NVICAdvocacy.org. Click on the STATE TEAMS tab and select your state. Their name is displayed on the right side of the page and you can click on their name for contact information. You can also search here. Talking points are posted below.
- Sign up to get NVIC’s Wisconsin “Heads Up” text alerts by texting “Wisconsin” to 202-618-5488.
- Login to the NVIC Advocacy Portal OFTEN to check for updates and forward this email to family and friends. Please ask them to register and share their concerns with their legislators as well.
Assembly Committee on Constitution and Ethics
Representative Wichgers (Chair) – (608) 266-3363 or (888) 534-0083
Representative Thiesfeldt (Vice-Chair) – (608) 266-3156 or (888) 529-0052
Representative Allen – (608) 266-8580 or (888) 534-0097
Representative Ramthun – (608) 266-9175 or (888) 534-0059
Representative Magnafici – (608) 267-2365 or (888) 534-0028
Representative Murphy – (608) 266-7500 or (888) 534-0056
Representative Hebl – (608) 266-7678
Representative Pope – (608) 266-3520 or (888) 534-0080
Representative Cabrera – (608) 266-1707 or (888) 534-0009
Rep.Wichgers@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Thiesfeldt@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Allen@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Ramthun@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Magnafici@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Murphy@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Hebl@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Pope@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Cabrera@legis.wisconsin.gov
TALKING POINTS (personalize these to explain why passing these bills is important to you and your family)
- AB 23 and AB 25 need to be passed to prevent COVID-19 vaccine mandates from denying law abiding healthy citizens the ability to work or participate in society.
- COVID-19 vaccine mandates are already happening. Atria Senior Living is requiring all 14,000 of its employees across 26 states, to receive 2 COVID-19 vaccines by May 1, 2021 as a condition of employment. A Wisconsin nursing home has already started laying off employees for refusing COVID-19 vaccines. The mayor of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania signed an executive order requiring all city employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The Los Angeles Unified School District is requiring COVID-19 vaccines before students can return to the classroom.
- Recent surveys of hospital staff, healthcare workers, essential workers, nursing home staff, long term care employees, and firefighters report responses in range from 20-60% saying they would not take a COVID-19 vaccine. AB 23 and AB 25 are needed to protect critical public safety and care infrastructures in Wisconsin which would otherwise be severely compromised as those who don’t want the vaccine will leave these areas of the workforce.
- As of 2/18/21, there have already been 19,907 COVID-19 Vaccine adverse events and 1,095 COVID-19 Vaccine deaths reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System. Some short-term and all long-term risks of new COVID-19 vaccines are still unknown. When there is risk, there has to be informed consent and the right to refuse a vaccine without penalty.
- In the absence of protective state laws like AB 23 and AB 25, there are no state or federal employee protection exceptions to employee vaccine mandates for all vaccines for reasons of conscience objections to all the vaccines being given to adults.
- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission affirms the legal right of an employer to exclude the employee from the workplace even if an employee cannot get vaccinated for COVID-19 because of a disability or sincerely held religious belief and there is no reasonable accommodation possible. The state will have to step in and protect employees’ right to delay or refuse vaccines.
- While the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) allows employees to decline Hepatitis B Vaccines, and OSHA and many labor unions have expressed opposition to annual influenza vaccination policies that do not include religious and/or personal objection exemptions, there are far too many gaps in protection for employees to refuse vaccines for work.
- People injured by a COVID-19 vaccine have little recourse. Vaccine manufactures and providers are shielded from liability through the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, or PREP Act. This federal law establishes that the only option for compensation for COVID-19 vaccine victims is the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP). Only eight percent of all petitioners since 2010 have been awarded compensation through the CICP. No legal or medical expert fees are covered, no pain and suffering is awarded, lost wages are capped at $50,000, and there is no judicial appeal. Vaccination must be voluntary.
NVIC Advocacy Team
National Vaccine Information Center
http://NVIC.org and http://NVICAdvocacy.org
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