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Rhode Island Dems Push Bill That Would Increase Taxes for Unvaccinated

AP Photo/LM Otero

State lawmakers in Rhode Island are pushing legislation that would require every person in the state 16 years of age and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and punish those who refuse to do so.


Local outlet NBC 10 reported Tuesday that two state Senators have removed their names from the bill, Bill S.2552.

NBC 10 noted that those who violate the proposed mandate would “face a civil penalty of $50 and shall owe twice the amount of personal income taxes.”

Employers would be responsible to enforce the mandate and require vaccine proof from employees or face a $5,000 fine for each worker who is unvaccinated.

“Some of the senators who introduced the bill on March 1 did not want to talk about it anymore,” NBC 10 wrote.

State Sen. Sam Bell, a Democrat, said on Twitter that Rhode Island residents “strongly support a universal vaccine mandate” and that “it’s time for us to pass my mandate bill.” 

Bell told NBC 10 that “he did not have time for an interview” but that “there is more support for vaccine mandates than more people realize.”

Earlier this year, Katie reported how the United States Supreme Court struck down President Biden’s overreaching vaccine mandate for private employers. 

"The Secretary of Labor, acting through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, recently enacted a vaccine mandate for much of the Nation’s work force. The mandate, which employers must enforce, applies to roughly 84 million workers, covering virtually all employers with at least 100 employees. It requires that covered workers receive a COVID–19 vaccine, and it pre-empts contrary state laws. The only exception is for workers who obtain a medical test each week at their own expense and on their own time, and also wear a mask each workday," the opinion stated


"OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate. Nor has Congress. Indeed, although Congress has enacted significant legislation addressing the COVID–19 pandemic, it has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here. Many States, businesses, and nonprofit organizations challenged OSHA’s rule in Courts of Appeals across the country,” it added. 

"COVID–19 can and does spread at home, in schools, during sporting events, and everywhere else that people gather. That kind of universal risk is no different from the day-to-day dangers that all face from crime, air pollution, or any number of communicable diseases. Permitting OSHA to regulate the hazards of daily life—simply because most Americans have jobs and face those same risks while on the clock—would significantly expand OSHA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization," the ruling stated.

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