As millions of Californians return to in-person work with a requirement to say whether they’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19, legislators who represent some of those residents have refused disclosure, either ignoring the question or insisting their employers — the state’s taxpayers — don’t have the right to know.
In a survey conducted by The Times, 12 members of the California Legislature refused to disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status. Eleven of the lawmakers are Republicans, comprising almost 40% of all GOP members.
There are no current requirements that lawmakers get vaccinated, and a number of safety protocols are in place inside the state Capitol. Even so, there are few, if any, repercussions for legislators who choose not to vaccinate. Capitol guidelines advise lawmakers and staff to provide vaccination information to health officials, but members of the state Senate and Assembly have no traditional workplace manager and, for the most part, answer only to their constituents.
“I’m not going to, because it’s my choice,” said state Sen. Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), when asked Monday about why he refused to reveal whether he’s vaccinated against COVID-19.
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