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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is refusing to support a Republican effort in her state to ban corporate vaccine mandates.

GOP Representatives Jon Hansen and Scott Odenbach filed the COVID-19 Vaccine Freedom of Conscience Act, a bill that would essentially ban COVID vaccine mandates under any and all circumstances in the state.

Noem, however, questioned if mandating one thing is setting a precedent for what the state is telling businesses they have to do far into the future.

Noem has banned vaccines as a condition of employment in state and local government, but it has left little if any protection for those working for private employers.

“Workers whose employers are mandating a vaccine for continued employment have the power to say no,” Noem tweeted on July 31. “Our robust economy and job market gives them the option to find a new employer that values personal choice and responsibility, and doesn’t force mandates on their employees.”

Odenbach said it is not right to make, force or coerce people to be “guinea pigs.”

“I think the COVID-19 vaccines are good, and I am glad we have the vaccine, it is shown to be good for those who take it, but I am discouraging coercion,” he said.

Both representatives are pitching the idea of a special session to debate the bill. But that isn’t likely as they would need two-thirds of both chambers of the legislature to agree on the special session or it would have to be called by Noem.

 

Author: Jacob Hall