Gov. Burgum signs ‘Vaccine Mandate’ Bill

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COVID vaccine(KFYR)
Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 11:17 AM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Gov. Doug Burgum, R-N.D., signed a bill to reform vaccine mandate powers. HB 1511 bans state and local governments from ordering vaccine mandates.

It passed the House late Thursday night after more than an hour of debate and attempts to change language.

Under the bill, companies will still be allowed to install their own vaccine mandates for their employees. But the legislature expanded exemptions for these company-ordered mandates which include morals, proof of antibodies over the past six months, having a doctor’s note, or undergoing weekly testing.

Some lawmakers said the long list of opt-outs for the company policy would make any mandate unusable and not allow companies to create safe working environment for some employees.

Visitors and employees for health care units and prisons are exempt from the bill, because lawmakers wanted to protect these “bubbles” of populations.

Higher education is also exempt from the bill to avoid conflicts with NCAA rules for athletes and research using federal grants.

If the bill becomes law, it could see conflict with lawsuit-pending vaccine mandate for large companies from the Biden Administrator. If the courts rule the federal mandate is legal, this North Dakota bill would only apply to companies with few than 100 employees.

It passed the Senate 33-14, and the House 76-11.

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