Senate Adopts Ward Plan to Rein in Health Secretary’s Power, Ban Vaccine Passports

(HARRISBURG) – The Pennsylvania Senate today approved a plan by Senator Judy Ward (R-30) that would prohibit the state Secretary of Health from unilaterally acting to limit Pennsylvanians and ban vaccine passports.

“This bill at all levels is about preventing government overreach whether its mandating a vaccine or mandating masking, social isolation, or business closures,” Senator Ward said. “For the past 15 months, Pennsylvanians have experienced unprecedented government intrusion into their lives without any input from their elected representatives in the General Assembly.  Today’s action ensures that does not happen in the future.”

Senate Bill 618 prohibits the Secretary of Health from mandating those who have not been exposed or in close contact with the exposed to wear a mask, stay at home or be socially distant. It also prevents the Secretary from using the same laws to unilaterally force employers to close.

The bill also prohibits the state, as well as counties, municipalities, school districts and colleges that are subsidized by state taxpayers from requiring proof of vaccination.

“We must work together to develop policies that protect lives and livelihoods,” Senator Ward said.

The measure was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

CONTACT: Cheryl Schriner

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