House kills seven vaccine requirements bills

Published: Feb. 5, 2021 at 4:42 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The North Dakota House voted down a series of bills that would have made exceptions to getting the COVID vaccine.

Bills included taking away requirements for school admissions, exceptions from receiving it and others.

The bills in front of House members would’ve stripped away a number of public health policies.

This week saw the first round of significant health policy presented for votes, and the House made their opinions clear.

Seven vaccine bills were killed in one afternoon.

This time, the split in the chamber wasn’t based on party.

On one side, those who saw the bills as an afront to public safety.

“These are conditions and diseases that have virtually been cured or the heard immunity is so great because of the availability of vaccines that they are not a health concern any longer,” Rep. Todd Porter, R-Mandan, said.

On the other side, those who saw COVID policies as an attack.

The results of the votes were decisive with most at least a 40-vote margin. Except for one bill on informed consent, where doctors would have to warn patients about the possible unknowns.

Rep. Luke Simons, R-Dickinson, giving personal testimony on contracting French Polio after receiving a tetanus shot.

“My wife and children had to carry me around. For almost two years, I still can’t feel my legs. You’ll see me run out of committee a bunch. I’m late for committee a lot. I have mechanical issues,” Simons said.

That bill failed by two votes.

Lawmakers in the minority called the votes disappointing.

“It’s kind of disappointing that we really don’t value individual choice when it comes to vaccinations. We claim to, but it’s only if you never want to go anywhere or buy anything or work anywhere,” Rep. Ben Koppelman, R-West Fargo said.

Each of the seven bills came into the chamber with “do not pass” recommendations from their respective committees.

here some lawmakers said the response to the pandemic has been a violation of rights, others argued North Dakota was amongst the most consumer-friendly states with vaccine policies.

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