Any person over 16 who is not vaccinated would face fines and “shall owe twice the amount of personal income taxes as would otherwise be assessed”
ATTENTION #parents in #RhodeIsland: Here’s S2552 that @SamuelWBell wants to use @DanMcGowan faulty reporting to pass. Among other things, he wants your 10 year old to sign a paper and 3 notarized Dr notes to get exemption from mandate. Or, face fines and DOUBLE TAXES. Stop it!
ATTENTION #parents in #RhodeIsland: Here's S2552 that @SamuelWBell wants to use @DanMcGowan faulty reporting to pass. Among other things, he wants your 10 year old to sign a paper and 3 notarized Dr notes to get exemption from mandate. Or, face fines and DOUBLE TAXES. Stop it! pic.twitter.com/ZElbAD9eac
— Laurie (@laurieinri) April 18, 2022
Sure enough, Democrat Samuel W. Bell, joined by seven other progressive Democrat state senators, has proposed a vaccine mandate that, if violated, would impose double taxation.
23-97-1. Immunization against COVID-19
6 (a) Every person of at least sixteen (16) years of age who is eligible for immunization
7 against COVID-19 and who resides in the State of Rhode Island, works in the State of Rhode Island,
8 or pays personal income taxes to the State of Rhode Island pursuant to chapter 30 of title 44 shall
9 be required to be immunized against COVID-19.
10 (b) Every resident of Rhode Island eligible for immunization against COVID-19 who is
11 under sixteen (16) years of age or under guardianship shall be required to be immunized against
12 COVID-19, with the responsibility for ensuring compliance falling on all parents or guardians with
13 medical consent powers pursuant to § 23-4.6-1.
* * *
21 (e) Any person who violates this chapter shall be required to pay a monthly civil penalty
22 of fifty dollars ($50.00) and shall owe twice the amount of personal income taxes as would
23 otherwise be assessed pursuant to chapter 30 of title 44. All employers must require proof of
24 compliance with this chapter for any employee employed in in-person work within the State of
25 Rhode Island. Employers may choose to waive proof of compliance with this chapter for purely
26 remote work. Any employer found to be knowingly in violation of this section for more than seven
27 (7) days shall be required to pay a monthly civil penalty of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for every
Title 44, referenced in the bill, is the Rhode Island personal income tax law.
Bell is promoting the bill on social media:
With @DanMcGowan reporting that Rhode Islanders still strongly support a universal vaccine mandate, despite the McKee Administration pushing hard for the surrender policy, it’s time for us to pass my mandate bill. Cases are rising again. Surrender isn’t working. pic.twitter.com/hxXkgF8bcG
— Sam Bell (@SamuelWBell) April 18, 2022
But after the controversy, two Senators removed their names.
Bell has not yet responded to my request for comment. But he did tell The Boston Globe:
“The reason I introduced the bill is we have a crisis with the pandemic,” Bell said Wednesday. “Thousands of Rhode Islander have died. I’ve had really painful calls from constituents who can’t go to the store because they’re immuno-compromised, who have lost loved ones to this pandemic, who are really ill and not fully recovered, suffering long-term effects.”
Republican State Senator Jessica De La Cruz issued this statement:
I have not, nor will I ever support, legislation that coerces Rhode Islanders into making medical decisions or face steep financial damages. I hear my constituents and others around the state loud and clear—this is dangerous legislation and sends the message that our government doesn’t trust you to make the right choice for you and your family. This is an unconscionable overreach of legislative powers. The good news is this legislation has little chance of passing. I won’t rule it out, but I don’t believe it will pass, that said, I’m not taking it for granted, and neither should you.
[Correction: A prior version inaccurately stated that Senator De La Cruz was running for Governor. She had been running for Congress, but very recently withdrew from the race.]DONATE
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