The House voted down an amendment to House Bill 3003 offered by Rep. David Eastman that would have inserted intent language that would prohibit agencies receiving state funds from requiring its employees to show proof of having a Covid-19 vaccine as a condition of employment.
Opponents of the measure said that hospitals and clinics need to be able to ask their employees to be vaccinated. Proponents argued for the right to privacy and confidentiality.
The measure was voted down almost along party lines, with Republicans Sara Rasmussen and Kelly Merrick joining the Democrat caucus to vote against it, making it fail by 21-19.
The Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association weighed in, causing a second vote on the amendment, which had initially passed. ASHNA begged lawmakers to oppose it.
Similar measures are passing in other states. In May, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed Montana House Bill 702, which made the state the first to recognize an individual’s vaccination status as a protected category. The law prevents employers from requiring employees to disclose their immunization status and bars employers from requiring employees to receive certain types of vaccines or to possess an immunity passport. The law is part of the Montana Human Rights Act in Title 49, chapter 2, part 3 of the Montana Code Annotated. It is explained more fully by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.
In Colorado, a House bill that would have banned discrimination against clients, patrons, or customers based on their Covid-19 vaccination status, failed to pass.
In Alaska, Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued issued an administrative order that specifies the state’s “Executive Branch does not, and will not, require any person to produce their personal vaccine history, also referred to as a ‘vaccine Passport,’ in order to travel to, or around, Alaska.” The order, however, said the state would not “infringe on the rights of private businesses” and that the Alaska Marine Highway ferry system is still “allowed to inform passengers on long haul trips of the voluntary choice the passenger can make to provide proof of vaccination and avoid the need for a negative test before boarding.”