Special session likely on Covid-19 mandates

OKLAHOMA CITY – Pursuant to Section 27A of Article V of the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma, lawmakers are starting to gather signatures for a special session to prohibit vaccine mandates for Oklahoma workers, address vaccine passports, and address non-compliance to SB658. Specifically, the special session would be called for “issues related to COVID-19 that are a matter of statewide concern and affect public health and safety”. This comes in response to constituent concerns about healthcare institutions and other employers across Oklahoma requiring employees to receive COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of continued employment.

Representative Sean Roberts (R Dist. 36, Osage & Tulsa) in a release said, “In July, multiple legislators signed on to three letters that were sent to the executive branch to request an executive order or to call the legislature into a special session to address medical tyranny. It is still possible for the executive branch to do this, but our offices continue to receive more reports of religious and medical COVID-19 vaccine exemptions being denied. It is clear that time is of the essence.

This issue requires the immediate attention of our state government,” said Rep. Roberts. “These employees are the heroes that stood on the front line of the pandemic caring for those that had fallen ill to COVID-19. I have received numerous reports of healthcare worker’s medical and religious exceptions being denied. All options are on the table to protect individuals from mandatory vaccinations, including removing tax incentives from those that require vaccines of their employees.”

Oklahoma SB 658 covers education, Pre-K-12, and all Higher Education:

  • Mask mandates can only be issued by school boards only under a state of emergency and must be reviewed at each meeting.
  • Mask mandates not allowed for unvaccinated students only. No discrimination!
  • Transparency on common education vaccinations; meaning schools must tell parents that they can opt-out using exemptions if parents so choose.
  • Vaccine passports, otherwise known as, “papers, please” are not allowed in any level of education.
  • No C-19 vaccine mandate for Pre-K-12 and Higher Education, with the exception of some medical programs that must see patients.

Senator Warren Hamilton (R-Dist 7) also sent a letter to the executive branch requesting a special session in late July. In his letter, Hamilton states “Informed consent is non-negotiable, ‘consent’ being the keyword. For [some] health care professionals, the hospital-mandated deadline is September 1st. Many, faced with the threat of financial ruin have already violated their consciences and put their health at severe risk in order to provide for their families.”

Two-thirds of the membership of the Oklahoma Senate and House of Representatives are needed. The special session is set to convene on August 30th at noon, just prior to the September 1st deadline given to many health professionals.

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