HARRISBURG, PA (AP) – A Republican-fabricated bill banning so-called COVID-19 “vaccine passports” in some cases and restricting the health secretary’s actions during health emergencies was vetoed Thursday by Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor. The measure split both legislative chambers along party lines last month, and Governor Tom Wolf has already said he would veto the proposal.
With millions of Pennsylvanians still vaccinated, many seemingly intent on staying so, the legislative Republicans wanted to prevent what they see as stigmatizing policies that require proof of vaccination in violation of health privacy.
The bill would keep state-funded colleges and universities from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter buildings, attend classes in person or undertake any activity. State and local government entities would have the same restrictions, and governments would not be allowed to include coronavirus vaccine status on their ID cards.
It would also keep the health secretary from ordering close or directing people who have not been exposed to a physically contagious distance, wearing a mask, quarantine or restricting their travel. The Wolf administration believes the bill, if passed, would apply in all cases, not just during the current pandemic.
Wolf also vetoed a bill letting judges hire private collection agencies to prosecute late court fines and costs.
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