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Arkansas PoliticsHealthcare/Covid-19Read

Legislation Responding To Mandatory Vaccinations

This is a summary of five bills being considered by the Arkansas General Assembly concerning mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. Two of the bills are identical. These bills have made their way out of committee. This will give you a good overview of the types of legislation being considered.

HB1972 & SB739 -NATURAL IMMUNITY EXEMPTION – SUPPORT

HB1972 by Representative Josh Bryant and SB739 by Senator Kim Hammer are identical bills or in the process of being made identical.  The bills would establish a natural immunity exception to the vaccine by showing the presence of antibodies, a T cell response, or proof of a previous positive test for COVID-19 or its variants.

While the legislation should be supported, unfortunately, it is being called a “compromise bill” which means it may be the only protection passed. If so, workers who cannot show immunity are still subject to termination by employers mandating vaccination.

* * *

SB731 – VACCINE STATUS PRIVATE – SUPPORT

SB731 by Senator Bob Ballinger would establish a right of privacy regarding vaccination status. It would prohibit employers from requiring the disclosure of an individual’s vaccination status and from retaliating against an individual for exercising that right to privacy. An employee or individual who is injured by an employer in violation of the bill will have the remedies and procedures available under the Arkansas Civil Rights Act of 1993, § 16-123-101 et seq.

SB731 is the broadest bill on protecting employees from vaccine mandates.

Unfortunately, Senator Ballinger said he will hold the bill, if SB739 concerning a natural immunity exemption passes.  Even if the natural immunity bill passes, without SB731 unvaccinated workers who do not have natural immunity will not be protected from termination.

Sen. Ballinger explained that even if he could get his bill passed with a majority it is unlikely his bill could get the 2/3rd majority in the Senate and House necessary to pass an emergency clause to make it effective immediately. Without the passage of the emergency clause the bill cannot become law until sometime in January, which is long after most employer deadlines pass for taking the vaccine. Even without the emergency clause this bill should be passed to show employers their vaccine mandates are out of step with Arkansas.

SB731 is the bill many legislators do not want to vote on because it will put them at odds with big corporations such as Walmart, Tyson, and several hospitals.

* * *

SB730-UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS – SUPPORT

SB730 by Senator Trent Garner allows employees terminated for not being vaccinated to be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. Employers are claiming the termination of unvaccinated employees is due to employees voluntarily leaving, not a firing. This bill clarifies that these employees have been terminated by the employers and are eligible for unemployment benefits.

* * *

SB732-COERCION PROHIBITED – NEEDS SUBSTANTIAL REVISION BEFORE WILL BE HELPFUL

SB732 by Senator Blake Johnson prohibits employer coercion of employees to get them to take the COVID-19 vaccine.  Coercion does not include positive incentives.

The prohibition on coercion only applies if the unvaccinated employee is claiming a medical or religious exemption. Also it is unclear what happens if the employer coerces the employee in violation of the bill. The bill does not state any penalty or consequence for a violation.

Although the bill requires an employer to “consider” an employee’s exemption claim, the employer can reject the claim and the bill does not provide any standards for considering or rejecting an exemption. At least the bill provides a consequence if the employer totally fails to consider an exemption claim.  If the employer fails to consider the exemption claim, the employee can seek lost wages. Although the bill says “lost wages” the bill limits reimbursement to a sum comparable to unemployment benefits through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Pub. L. No. 117-2, or any other federal funds that may become available.

In its current form this bill is confusing and doesn’t do much.

* * *

CONCLUSION

SB731 is the bill you want passed if you oppose vaccine mandates because it proposes to keep vaccination status private.

The natural immunity exception proposed by HB1972 & SB738 is the second most important legislation being considered.  It helps some workers but many will not be protected from termination.

SB730 clarifies that a person who is terminated for refusing the vaccine is eligible for unemployment


Be sure to reach out to these Senators in particular, we will need their vote. Tell them to fight for medical and health freedom and that you are watching their votes and they will be held accountable.

First Name Last Name Email Phone Number District Party affiliation Representative or Senator
Cecile Bledsoe [email protected] 479-636-2115 3 Republican Senator
Ronald Caldwell [email protected] 501-682-6107 23 Republican Senator
Jonathan Dismang [email protected] 501-766-8220 28 Republican Senator
Lance Eads [email protected] 479-435-5139 7 Republican Senator
Jane English [email protected] 501-257-7670 34 Republican Senator
Jimmy Hickey JR [email protected] 870-772-4444 11 Republican Senator
Ricky Hill [email protected] 501-286-2285 29 Republican Senator
Missy Irvin [email protected] 870-269-2703 18 Republican Senator
Matthew Pitsch [email protected] 479-883-2072 8 Republican Senator
Bill Sample [email protected] 501-627-5386 14 Republican Senator
James Sturch [email protected] 870-612-7589 19 Republican Senator

Contact your personal State Senator and State Representative as well as Speaker Representative Matt Shepherd and Senate Pro temp Senator Jimmy Hickey. Here is how.

First Name Last Name Email Phone Number District Party affiliation Representative or Senator
Fred Allen [email protected] 501-804-7844 30 Democrat Representative
Bob Ballinger [email protected] 870-505-4448 5 Republican Senator
Howard Beaty [email protected] 9 Republican Representative
Rick Beck [email protected] 501-912-1441 65 Republican Representative
Charles Beckham [email protected] 12 Republican Senator
Mary Bentley [email protected] 501-889-3556 73 Republican Representative
Mark Berry [email protected] 82 Republican Representative
Stan Berry [email protected] 4799707982 68 Republican Representative
Cecile Bledsoe [email protected] 479-636-2115 3 Republican Senator
Justin Boyd [email protected] 479-262-2156 77 Republican Representative
Ken Bragg [email protected] 870-917-9205 15 Republican Representative
Harlan Breaux [email protected] 479-981-3170 97 Republican Representative
Keith Brooks [email protected] 5017446080 31 Republican Representative
Karilyn Brown [email protected] 501-580-9000 41 Republican Representative
Joshua Bryant [email protected] 5015002206 96 Republican Representative
Ronald Caldwell [email protected] 501-682-6107 23 Republican Senator
John Carr [email protected] 94 Republican Representative
Frances Cavenaugh [email protected] 870-886-4000 60 Republican Representative
Linda Chesterfield [email protected] 501-888-1859 30 Democrat Senator
Craig Christiansen [email protected] 501-724-5326 47 Republican Representative
Alan Clark [email protected] 501-844-6800 13 Republican Senator
Joe Cloud [email protected] 479-858-8033 71 Republican Representative
Nicole Clowney [email protected] 479-445-5337 86 Democrat Representative
Bruce Coleman [email protected] 479-806-6825 81 Republican Representative
Andrew Collins [email protected] 501-650-2233 35 Democrat Representative
Cameron Cooper [email protected] 501-230-5635 44 Republican Representative
Bruce Cozart [email protected] 501-627-3232 24 Republican Representative
Cindy Crawford [email protected] 479-782-4693 76 Republican Representative
Carol Dalby [email protected] 870-772-1255 1 Republican Representative
Breanne Davis [email protected] 479-970-0081 16 Republican Senator
Marsh Davis [email protected] 870-847-7334 61 Republican Representative
Gary Deffenbaugh [email protected] 479-719-8197 79 Republican Representative
Jonathan Dismang [email protected] 501-766-8220 28 Republican Senator
Jim Dotson [email protected] 479-222-1234 93 Republican Representative
Lance Eads [email protected] 479-435-5139 7 Republican Senator
Les Eaves [email protected] 501-827-1344 46 Republican Representative
Joyce Elliott [email protected] 501-603-9546 31 Democrat Senator
Jane English [email protected] 501-257-7670 34 Republican Senator
Denise Ennett [email protected] 5016904211 36 Democrat Representative
Jon Eubanks [email protected] 479-438-0533 74 Republican Representative
Sonia Eubanks Barker [email protected] 8708147605 7 Republican Representative
Brian Evans [email protected] 501-941-4002 43 Republican Representative
Deborah Ferguson [email protected] 870-735-7098 51 Democrat Representative
Kenneth Ferguson [email protected] 870-413-8942 16 Democrat Representative
David Fielding [email protected] 870-234-6143 5 Democrat Representative
Charlene Fite [email protected] 479-414-1818 80 Republican Representative
Lanny Fite [email protected] 501-317-2400 23 Republican Representative
Scott Flippo [email protected] 870-421-3420 17 Republican Senator
Stephanie Flowers [email protected] 870-535-1032 25 Democrat Senator
Vivian Flowers [email protected] 870-329-8356 17 Democrat Representative
Jack Fortner [email protected] 870-656-7664 99 Republican Representative
Tony Furman [email protected] 501-909-1537 28 Republican Representative
Denise Garner [email protected] 479-283-5050 84 Democrat Representative
Trent Garner [email protected] 870-818-9219 27 Republican Senator
Jimmy Gazaway [email protected] 870-215-1243 57 Republican Representative
Ben Gilmore [email protected] 501-467-5952 26 Republican Senator
Megan Godfrey [email protected] 479-200-4460 89 Democrat Representative
Justin Gonzales [email protected] 870-245-6365 19 Republican Representative
Michelle Gray michelle.g[email protected] 870-291-2515 62 Republican Representative
Delia Haak [email protected] 4792384671 91 Republican Representative
Kim Hammer [email protected] 501-840-3841 33 Republican Senator
Spencer Hawks [email protected] 501-764-6847 70 Republican Representative
Jim Hendren [email protected] 479-787-6222 2 Republican Senator
Bart Hester [email protected] 479-531-4176 1 Republican Senator
Jimmy Hickey JR [email protected] 870-772-4444 11 Republican Senator
Ricky Hill [email protected] 501-286-2285 29 Republican Senator
David Hillman [email protected] 870-830-3004 13 Republican Representative
Monty Hodges [email protected] 870-763-4443 55 Democrat Representative
Mike Holcomb [email protected] 870-489-7177 10 Republican Representative
Steve Hollowell [email protected] 870-270-3831 49 Republican Representative
Ashley Hudson [email protected] 5016584096 32 Democrat Representative
Keith Ingram [email protected] 870-735-8610 24 Democrat Senator
Missy Irvin [email protected] 870-269-2703 18 Republican Senator
Lane Jean [email protected] 870-90-1856 2 Republican Representative
Joe Jett [email protected] 870-276-5319 56 Republican Representative
Blake Johnson [email protected] 870-323-1766 20 Republican Senator
Lee Johnson [email protected] 479-883-6393 75 Republican Representative
Mark Johnson [email protected] 501-682-2920 15 Republican Senator
Jack Ladyman [email protected] 870-340-7499 59 Republican Representative
Greg Leding [email protected] 479-966-9201 4 Democrat Senator
Fredrick Love [email protected] 501-612-3939 29 Democrat Representative
Mark Lowery [email protected] 501-837-5221 39 Republican Representative
Robin Lundstrom [email protected] 479-957-1959 87 Republican Representative
Roger Lynch [email protected] 501-412-8959 14 Republican Representative
John Maddox [email protected] 479-394-6060 20 Republican Representative
Stephen Magie [email protected] 501-327-4444 72 Democrat Representative
Julie Mayberry [email protected] 501-888-3522 27 Republican Representative
Rick McClure [email protected] 5017864186 26 Republican Representative
Austin McCollum [email protected] 479-426-4141 95 Republican Representative
Tippi McCullough [email protected] 501-766-3177 33 Democrat Representative
Mark McElroy [email protected] 11 Republican Representative
Richard McGrew [email protected] 501-623-2481 22 Republican Representative
Gayla McKenzie [email protected] 479-787-6411 92 Republican Representative
Ron McNair [email protected] 870-754-7962 98 Republican Representative
Stephen Meeks [email protected] 501-314-9250 67 Republican Representative
Josh Miller [email protected] 501-365-3599 66 Republican Representative
Jon Milligan [email protected] 870-219-1261 53 Republican Representative
Reginald Murdock [email protected] 501-940-5157 48 Democrat Representative
Milton Nicks Jr [email protected] 870-739-1083 50 Democrat Representative
John Payton [email protected] 501-362-5815 64 Republican Representative
Clinto Penzo [email protected] 479-466-6681 88 Republican Representative
Mark Perry [email protected] 501-982-4561 42 Democrat Representative
Aaron Pilkington [email protected] 479-308-8384 69 Republican Representative
Matthew Pitsch [email protected] 479-883-2072 8 Republican Senator
Jason Rapert [email protected] 501-336-0918 35 Republican Senator
David Ray [email protected] 40 Republican Representative
Terry Rice [email protected] 479-637-3100 9 Republican Senator
Jay Richardson [email protected] 78 Democrat Representative
Marcus Richmond [email protected] 479-299-4416 21 Republican Representative
Johnny Rye [email protected] 870-919-3690 54 Republican Representative
Bill Sample [email protected] 501-627-5386 14 Republican Senator
Jamie Scott [email protected] 501-398-2961 37 Democrat Representative
Matthew Shepherd [email protected] 870-862-2087 6 Republican Representative
Keith Slape [email protected] 870-715-5623 83 Republican Representative
Brandt Smith [email protected] 870-351-7459 58 Republican Representative
Stu Smith [email protected] 870-612-3974 63 Republican Representative
Nelda Speaks [email protected] 870-421-2552 100 Republican Representative
Joy Springer [email protected] 501-374-3758 34 Democrat Representative
Gary Stubblefield [email protected] 479-635-4314 6 Republican Senator
James Sturch [email protected] 870-612-7589 19 Republican Senator
Dan Sullivan [email protected] 870-275-2929 21 Republican Senator
Larry Teague [email protected] 870-845-5303 10 Democrat Senator
David Tollett [email protected] 12 Republican Representative
Dwight Tosh [email protected] 870-926-0423 52 Republican Representative
Clarke Tucker [email protected] 501-246-4933 32 Democrat Senator
Kendon Underwood [email protected] 4796448461 90 Republican Representative
DeAnn Vaught [email protected] 870-832-2638 4 Republican Representative
David Wallace [email protected] 870-919-8046 22 Republican Senator
Jeff Wardlaw [email protected] 870-226-9501 8 Republican Representative
Les Warren [email protected] 501-623-4405 25 Republican Representative
Danny Watson [email protected] 870-703-5524 3 Republican Representative
David Whitaker [email protected] 479-236-8313 85 Democrat Representative
Carlton Wing [email protected] 501-416-4926 38 Republican Representative
Richard Womack [email protected] 870-403-6287 18 Republican Representative
Jim Wooten [email protected] 501-858-7403 45 Republican Representative
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