Lawmakers contemplate timing of introducing vaccine mandate legislation

State News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGET) — Some Democratic California lawmakers spent Friday in meetings mulling over possible legislation that would require people to prove they’re vaccinated before setting foot inside businesses like restaurants, bars, gyms and hotels.

It would also require employees of those businesses to prove they’re fully vaccinated or test weekly for COVID-19.

Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, D-Berkeley, would be the author on the potential legislation. A spokesperson for her office said late Friday afternoon meetings were ongoing with various stakeholder groups.

Lawmakers are trying to decide whether to sweep this bill through the state capitol with less than three weeks left in the legislative session or introduce the bill in January.

The bill details are still not publicly available, but if lawmakers pick the quicker route they’ll gut AB455, which is currently a traffic-related bill, and rewrite it as the mandate.

The bill carries urgency, meaning it would need two-thirds approval from the legislature and go into effect as soon as Gov. Gavin Newsom signs it.

As Newsom faces a recall, candidates running to replace him pounced on the proposal.

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin, tweeted, “I will fight in every way I can to stop AB455, the “gut and amend” bill requiring vaccination papers to enter a place of business. This is not who we are as a state or a country. Enough.”

Radio talk show host Larry Elder tweeted about a rally in opposition to the bill set for Sept. 8.

Wicks’ office says an update on the proposal should be ready by early next week.

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