Arizona Controversy Regarding ‘Vaccine Passports’

Note: on April 19, 2021 Arizona Governor Ducey issued an Executive Order forbidding state and local government from inquiring as to the “vaccine status” of any individual.  The Bill pending in the Arizona Legislature would extend that to all places of public accommodation.  For the Executive Order see:
On May 22 the Legislature failed to pass the Bill, as reflected in the article below.  Further parliamentary maneuvers are planned by the sponsors to bring the Bill back up for another vote before the Legislature.

The measure, House Bill 2190, would have prohibited businesses or third-party online entities from asking “whether the person has or has not received a COVID-19 vaccine or a vaccine to address any variant of COVID-19 as a condition for receiving any service, product or admission to an event or venue,” according to its text.

It would have also banned state, county and local governments, as well as public universities in Arizona, from requiring people to disclose whether they have been vaccinated.

The measure would not have prohibited health professionals or healthcare institutions from requiring documentation of vaccination, but they would not be allowed to deny healthcare services based on vaccination status.

Any violation would be a Class 3 misdemeanor, which is punishable by an up to $500 fine and no more than 30 days in prison.

The measure failed on a 16-13 vote. According to Arizona’s Capitol Media Services, GOP Sen. T.J. Shope sided with all Democrats in killing the bill.

“I believe in private property rights,’’ Shope said, according to the news service. “I believe in the rights of the sole proprietor, the barber who may be immunocompromised who cannot get a vaccine who would just want to put a sign up in the front of their shop.”

The bill fails at a time when vaccine passports have become a flashpoint as the U.S. pushes ahead it with its vaccination efforts. Several GOP-led states have already banned so-called vaccine passports, arguing that they infringe on a person’s individual right not to get vaccinated.

The Iowa legislature passed a bill earlier this month curtailing such passports, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) have both signed executive orders banning passports.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) also signed an executive order in April banning state and local governments from requiring proof of vaccination to revive service or enter an area.


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