ADVERTISEMENT

Republican bills would bar requiring vaccination proof

June 2, 2021 GMT
FILE - In this April 27, 2021, file photo, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers speaks with media at a news conference in Madison, Wis. Gov. Evers on Friday, May 14, 2021, praised new federal guidelines that relaxed mask restrictions for people who have been vaccinated for COVID-19, and he said his administration will review whether it is safe for state workers to return to their offices.(AP Photo/Scott Bauer File)
FILE - In this April 27, 2021, file photo, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers speaks with media at a news conference in Madison, Wis. Gov. Evers on Friday, May 14, 2021, praised new federal guidelines that relaxed mask restrictions for people who have been vaccinated for COVID-19, and he said his administration will review whether it is safe for state workers to return to their offices.(AP Photo/Scott Bauer File)
FILE - In this April 27, 2021, file photo, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers speaks with media at a news conference in Madison, Wis. Gov. Evers on Friday, May 14, 2021, praised new federal guidelines that relaxed mask restrictions for people who have been vaccinated for COVID-19, and he said his administration will review whether it is safe for state workers to return to their offices.(AP Photo/Scott Bauer File)
FILE - In this April 27, 2021, file photo, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers speaks with media at a news conference in Madison, Wis. Gov. Evers on Friday, May 14, 2021, praised new federal guidelines that relaxed mask restrictions for people who have been vaccinated for COVID-19, and he said his administration will review whether it is safe for state workers to return to their offices.(AP Photo/Scott Bauer File)
FILE - In this April 27, 2021, file photo, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers speaks with media at a news conference in Madison, Wis. Gov. Evers on Friday, May 14, 2021, praised new federal guidelines that relaxed mask restrictions for people who have been vaccinated for COVID-19, and he said his administration will review whether it is safe for state workers to return to their offices.(AP Photo/Scott Bauer File)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin business owners, university leaders and government officials would be prohibited from requiring the COVID-19 vaccination or treating unvaccinated people differently under Republican-backed bills moving through the state Legislature.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has already signaled that he will veto the bill forbidding any government official or business owner from requiring proof of vaccination. That and four other bills were heard at a public hearing Wednesday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

“Over the course of the last year we’ve almost normalized asking people their own personal medical decisions surrounding COVID,” said bill author Republican Rep. Tyler August. “That has never been a normal part of society.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Evers on Tuesday said, “it’s a reasonable request of businesses to make those requests.”

The Wisconsin Medical Society, which represents doctors, says rules requiring vaccinations help ensure patients and workers in hospitals don’t get sick.

Mark Grapentine, chief policy and advocacy officer, said in written testimony against the bill that employers could use the rules to “create a safe working environment for employees and members of the public who interact at a workplace.”

Two lawmakers compared the rules to Cold War-era Russia or Nazi Germany.

“In whose world would you ever think you would need papers in the United States?” said Republican Sen. Mary Felzkowski, of Alma. “That kind of sounds like... Russia and the Cold War. This to me is beyond unbelievable but there’s been a lot of things in this last year that seem a little unbelievable.”

“Or Germany back in the ’40s,” said Republican Rep. Timothy Ramthun.