Alabama governor instructs officials not to cooperate with federal vaccine mandate
A labama Gov. Kay Ivey told state agencies Monday not to cooperate with the federal vaccine mandate and instead put their efforts into filing a lawsuit against the vaccine requirements.
Ivey signed an executive order prohibiting penalties from state employers on employees or businesses that decide not to receive the vaccine. If federal law requires a penalty, agencies are to notify the employee or business and say that the state does not condone the penalty.
“The federal government’s outrageous overreach has simply given us no other option but to begin taking action, which is why I am issuing this executive order to fight these egregious COVID-19 vaccine mandates,” Ivey said in a statement.
The news comes days after universities in the Alabama State school system have told professors and employees they must get vaccinated. Ivey's order does not affect the school system's requirement because the campuses are federal contractors and thereby under federal jurisdiction.
Biden's mandate states all federal employers with over 100 employees must require their staff to be vaccinated or have weekly tests for the coronavirus. Biden's mandate also requires vaccinations of all employees of the executive branch.
The federal mandate has been met with some hostility from conservatives, with members of the Republican Party calling the mandates an "overreach." Several states, including Arkansas, Texas, Kansas, and Wyoming, have discussed ways to counter the mandates. GOP attorneys general have also said they will sue the Biden administration over the federal mandate.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order earlier this month that barred private companies from requiring the vaccine.
The Alabama Democratic Party on Monday asserted mandates are not new and cited seatbelts and other vaccines that are required to go to public schools as justification of the mandates.
“What’s wrong with a mandate that protects public health and keeps our hospitals from overcrowding?” the party asked the Associated Press in its statement.
Ivey said she is working with Alabama's attorney general to file a lawsuit blocking the mandate soon.
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