California Assembly drops proposal for statewide vaccine mandate


Democratic lawmakers have dropped a controversial proposal to mandate vaccines in the state, a move that would have been challenging to pass in the final weeks of the legislative session and was already providing fodder for the upcoming recall election.

Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) said she will not pursue the proposal this year after drafts of her bill language were leaked last week, saying she needed more time to craft “the strongest bill possible.” However, dropping the proposal before the Legislature adjourns next week essentially punts the decision to the governor, who could impose a vaccine mandate on his own to help protect the state from a fall and winter surge.

The draft language called for Californians to show proof that they are vaccinated to enter many indoor businesses and required both public and private sector workers to be fully vaccinated or regularly tested.

The proposal would have been amended into Assembly Bill 455, which Wicks said was needed to help improve vaccination rates at a time when the coronavirus’ Delta variant is spreading quickly in the state.

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