Dean VanSchoiack (copy)

Rep. Dean VanSchoiack, R-Savannah, has filed a bill that would make it illegal to require a vaccination that was not previously required before January 2020.

With the Missouri legislative session approaching, lawmakers are looking for ways to combat vaccine mandates in the state.

State Rep. Dean VanSchoiack has introduced House Bill 1617, which would preclude any entity including the state or a political subdivision from requiring any person to undergo or provide proof of receiving a vaccination for COVID-19, the flu or any other disease that vaccination was not required by the entity before Jan. 1, 2020.

VanSchoiack said he knows there are multiple bills that have been proposed, and whether it is his bill or someone else’s, fighting the mandates will be a priority.

“It will be very important for us to do something in the legislature this year, to stop all this madness. The people in Missouri are tired of it,” VanSchoiack said. “We’re not going to get rid of this; COVID is going to be here with us for a very long time. We need to learn to deal with this the best we can, and these mandates are not the answer to getting it done.”

The legislature will begin the session in Missouri starting Jan. 5, and all bills will be heard in committee before reaching the floor, although HB 1617 has an emergency clause that would allow the bill to become effective as soon as the governor signs the bill.

VanSchoiack said this will go hand in hand with the effort that Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has done with lawsuits against President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in challenge to Biden’s vaccine mandate Jan. 7. The Biden administration has said it will not begin enforcing the employer mandate until Jan. 10, and the government has said it’s not implementing the health care worker mandate while legal challenges play out.

Clayton Anderson can be reached at clayton.anderson@newspressnow.com. Follow him on twitter: @NPNowAnderson.

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