BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Senate on Thursday failed to override Republican Gov. Brad Little’s veto of legislation making it illegal for most businesses to require the coronavirus vaccine.
The Senate didn’t muster the two-thirds majority vote necessary to keep alive the “Coronavirus Pause Act.” The vote was 21-14.
The legislation would have made public and private employers subject to a misdemeanor charge punishable by a $1,000 fine if they require vaccines as a condition of employment or service.
It included exemptions for situations involving federal law, existing employee-employer contracts, and businesses that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.
The measure would have expired one year after the termination of all state emergency declarations related to coronavirus.
Little announced earlier this month that he will lift the state’s public health emergency disaster declaration on April 15, just over two years since it was put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
That means the Coronavirus Pause Act would have expired on April 15, 2023.
Little in his transmittal letter said he vetoed “this legislation because I am a lifelong advocate of limited government.” He said the bill “significantly expands government overreach into the private sector.”
But supporters said the law is needed to protect individual rights.