Possibility of the law still looms large on the horizon if Gov. Gavin Newsom remains after the recall election.
Democratic lawmakers have dropped their plans to mandate vaccines in the state, likely due to its overall unpopularity and the upcoming recall election.
Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) said she will not pursue the proposal this year after drafts of her bill language were leaked last week, saying she needed more time to craft “the strongest bill possible.”
However, dropping the proposal before the Legislature adjourns next week effectively leaves the decision to the governor, who could impose a vaccine mandate on his own to help protect the state from a fall and winter surge.
…The draft language called for Californians to show proof that they are vaccinated to enter many indoor businesses and required both public and private sector workers to be fully vaccinated or regularly tested.
The proposal would have been amended into Assembly Bill 455, which Wicks said was needed to help improve vaccination rates at a time when the coronavirus’ Delta variant is spreading quickly in the state.
Strong opposition to rushed rulemaking was part of the calculation.
Lawmakers had less than two weeks to consider the bill in committee hearings and approve it by a two-thirds majority during floor votes before an end-of-session Sept. 10 deadline.
Wicks acknowledged last week that there would be staunch opposition to the measure, and that she wasn’t sure whether the coalition of lawmakers supporting the process wanted to pursue the idea this year or in January, when the Legislature returns from a break. The proposal would have gone immediately into effect upon the governor’s signature.
If it has passed, the mandate would have been the first statewide vaccine mandate. That would have led to a major election issue for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recall challengers.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Gov. Gavin Newsom — who has typically been the one using executive power to implement COVID-19 policy — has been “quietly watching and providing technical assistance” to the lawmakers pushing the legislation. The paper reported that because the policy could prompt a backlash, lawmakers are considering “how such a sweeping statewide mandate could help or hurt Newsom’s chances of beating back a possible recall.”
The polling is mixed on whether California residents want businesses checking vaccination status. A CBS YouGov poll found that 61% of Californians support indoor businesses requiring vaccines for customers, but a separate Emerson/Nexstar poll found just 35% support and 51% opposition.
However, the possibility of the law still looms large on the horizon if Newsom remains after the recall election on September 14. Californians will be executively punished for daring to recall the hypocritical, gel-haired godlet.DONATE
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