California assemblyman trying to prevent ‘vaccine passports’ with new bill

State News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — As some states consider or reject the use of vaccine passports, the debate in California is heating up. 

State health officials say they are paying attention to how the federal government moves on possible vaccine verification systems. 

“We are watching closely what the federal partners do, making sure we have an eye on vaccine verification systems that lead around privacy, equity and fairness,” Dr. Mark Ghaly said. “But currently, there are not current plans to impose or have them.”

But Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin, said he’s drafting legislation to make sure vaccine passports do not materialize at any level of government in California. 

“You shouldn’t have to provide personal health information in order to just go about your daily activities,” Kiley said. “I think that would be a very dangerous thing. It goes against fundamental notions or privacy and liberty, and it’s not a road we want to go down.”

State health officials say they expect private businesses to verify full vaccinations or testing with their own systems. 

Kiley said it’s something he’s considering as he puts together the proposal. 

“If you’re receiving funding from the state or the government, then I think you ought to be considered essentially an extension of the government for that purpose,” Kiley said. “So I think the prohibition would apply them as well.” 

According to Kiley, his bill is expected to be out in print in about a week or so. He is aiming for a hearing by the end of the month. 

For the next couple of months, California will require proof of full vaccinations or testing in order for live performance venues, gatherings and conferences to fill their events to the largest capacity possible.

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