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Idaho Senate passes statement against federal vaccine mandates, waits on other COVID-19 bills

Idaho Senate
Posted at 2:56 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 11:21:30-05

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Senate is sending a message to the federal government: no vaccine mandates.

The Senate passed a Joint Memorial Tuesday opposing federal vaccine mandates. Senators debated the Joint Memorial briefly before passing it by voice vote.

Sen. Chuck Winder, the President Pro Tempore of the Idaho Senate who supported the bill, said it was a step in the right direction.

The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Kelly Anthon, said, "I'm not just supporting this because I don't like government forced vaccination. I'm going to support this memorial because it's an opportunity for me to say to my delegation, to my president in Washington D.C., that this isn't right." 

A few senators opposed the memorial.

Sen. David Nelson said, "I can't support this memorial this morning, and I really encourage us to work on the real problems that we need to deal with."

The Senate State Affairs Committee also held an informational meeting Tuesday on four bills related to COVID-19 federal relief money and COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Because the meeting was informational, no vote was taken on whether the bills would make it to the Senate floor.

Committee Chairwoman Sen. Patti Anne Lodge said with the 2022 session starting in seven weeks; the committee can take this time and evaluate the legislation and wait for the final verdicts on several state lawsuits against the federal government's vaccine mandates.

"We have time to look at this legislation and see what's going to be in the best interest of all of our citizens," she said.