by Steve Wilson
A bill that would permanently extend Georgia’s prohibition on local governments requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for services was approved by the House Public Health Committee on Monday.
Public Health Chairwoman Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta, broke a party-line tie to get the bill through to the House floor.
Senate Bill 1 is sponsored by State Sen. Greg Dolezal, R-Alpharetta, and would remove the sunset provision from Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive order on proof of COVID vaccination and public services.
If lawmakers had not acted, the prohibition would have sunset on June 30, the final day of the fiscal year.
State Rep. Todd Jones, R-Cumming, presented the bill to the committee. He said the data showed that making the prohibition permanent would not jeopardize public policy or health.
State Rep. Michelle Au, D-Johns Creek, said putting such a permanent restriction would be “tying the hands for future pandemic response and taking tools out of our toolbox.”
The bill was originally passed out of the Senate on Feb. 7 by a 31-21 vote.
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A regular contributor to The Center Square, Steve Wilson has been an award-winning writer and editor for nearly 20 years at newspapers in Georgia, Florida and Mississippi and is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and University of Alabama graduate.