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Support AB309 and other WI bills prohibiting discrimination based on vaccination status

Location: WI
Title: Support AB309 and other WI bills prohibiting discrimination based on vaccination status
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UPDATE: 6/10/2021 - All 5 of the bills that were heard in committee on June 9th were passed.  At this time, AB 299 prohibiting proof of vaccination for COVID-19 as a condition of receiving business and government services, is the only one that is scheduled on the Assembly Calendar for 6/16/2021. 


UPDATE 6/7/2021 -Dear Wisconsin NVIC Advocacy Team Members,

Vaccine Choice Wisconsin is asking you for calls to state legislators on Tuesday June 8th   to help pass AB309. We are forwarding their Action Alert. AB 309 provides the most protection to all in Wisconsin of all the bills being considered by the legislature by adding vaccination status to current state laws that prohibit discrimination. NVIC works closely with Vaccine Choice Wisconsin and we encourage you to sign up for their email list on their website. Also, sign up for NVIC’s “Heads Up” texting service by texting “Wisconsin” to 202-618-5488 so we can reach you quickly if quick action is needed.

We need YOU to make some calls on TUESDAY!

It’s time to up the pressure Wisconsin! After an absolutely amazing turnout for the Assembly Committee on Constitution and Ethics public hearing on AB309, AB299, AB303, AB316, and AB347, it looks promising that all five bills could be passed by the committee. All these bills are on the agenda for executive session on Wednesday, June 9th at 9:00 AM in the North Hearing Room, 2nd Floor.  While all of these are good bills and move us in the right direction, AB309 is the most comprehensive and is the only one that would protect all individuals against discrimination based on vaccination status for all vaccines.

But there is no guarantee that all of these bills will move to the floor for the entire Assembly to vote on. This is where we need YOU! 

Please CALL Assembly leadership ON TUESDAY, JUNE 8TH and respectfully let them know that you want them to place AB309 on the calendar for their floor session on June 16th. This includes the following individuals:

·         Representative Robin Vos: (608) 266-9171

·         Representative Jim Steineke: (608) 266-2418

·         Representative Kevin Petersen: (608) 266-3794

·         Representative Tyler August: (608) 266-1190

·         Representative Tyler Vorpagel: (608) 266-8530

Please ALSO call your personal Assembly Representative on TUESDAY, JUNE 8TH if they are not one of the individuals mentioned above and tell them to ask the above individuals to move AB309 forward. If you do not know who your representative is, you can find out at https://legis.wisconsin.gov by entering your address in the “Who are my legislators?” box.

When you call, simply state your name, where you are from and say that you would like AB309 to be added to the calendar for the floor session on June 16th and then choose one, two, or all three of the talking points below as your reason(s) why. Although the staff are generally very polite when you call, if you would prefer to just leave a message, you can call before 8am or after 5pm on Tuesday, June 8th. Whether you talk to a person or leave a message, PLEASE remain respectful. 

1.    Passage of AB309 would ensure that all students are granted an equal opportunity to attend any college which they have been accepted into, and not denied entry based on vaccination status. Subjecting a subset of the population to mandatory masks and/or frequent testing if they wish to decline a vaccine is unjust. Just as they cannot legally be discriminated against based on their race, ethnicity, gender, or religion, they should also expect that they will not be discriminated against based on vaccination status.

2.    Wisconsin is at a high risk of losing many skilled workers should businesses begin imposing vaccine mandates. Additionally, many workers may not tolerate indefinite masking, and choose to quit rather than being singled out for declining to receive or show proof of vaccination. We currently have a severe shortage of skilled workers, especially healthcare professionals. Losing more workers will be catastrophic to our economy. While some employers want to mandate vaccines, it remains unknown whether these same employers would cover medical expenses should a vaccine they mandate cause harm. Where there is a risk, there must always be a choice.

3.    Forcing people to show proof of vaccination in order to enter a place of business, or receive a service is discrimination. No one should have the right to demand knowledge of our personal healthcare decisions or be permitted to discriminate against you if you choose not to disclose this. All healthy individuals must be permitted to move freely in society. Without AB309, there is no guarantee that you will be permitted access to services should you decline to receive a vaccine or show proof of vaccination.

Discrimination is not okay. Discrimination has never been okay. Discrimination will never be okay. Discrimination based on a person’s vaccination status is no different. Let’s ensure that we can live and work in a society where we are ALL treated equally, no matter which choice we make regarding vaccines. And that means we need YOU to step up and perhaps step outside of your comfort zone to MAKE THE PHONE CALLS ON TUESDAY, JUNE 8TH! 

Vaccine Choice Wisconsin

PO Box 344

Poynette, WI 53955

contact@vaccinechoicewi.org

http://vaccinechoicewi.org

 

Sincerely,

NVIC Advocacy Team
National Vaccine Information Center
http://NVIC.org and http://NVICAdvocacy.org
https://nvicadvocacy.org/members/Members/ContactUs.aspx

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) works diligently to prepare and disseminate our legislative advocacy action alerts and supporting materials.  We request that organizations and members of the public forward our alerts in their original form to assure consistent and accurate messaging and effective action. Please acknowledge NVIC as originators of this work when forwarding to members of the public and like-minded organizations. To receive alerts immediately, register  at http://NVICAdvocacy.org, a website dedicated to this sole purpose and provided as a free public service by NVIC. 

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UPDATE: 6/5/2021 - The Assembly Committee on Constitution and Ethics held public hearings on AB309, AB299, AB303, AB316, and AB347 on June 2nd. The committee will most likely decide if these bills will move to the Assembly Floor on either June 8th or June 9th .  

While all of these are good bills and move us in the right direction, AB309 is the most comprehensive and is the only one that would protect all individuals against discrimination based on vaccination status for all vaccines.

ACTION NEEDED:

Please CALL Assembly leadership ON TUESDAY, JUNE 8TH and respectfully let them know that you want them to place AB309 on the calendar for their floor session on June 16th.  This includes the following individuals:

·        Representative Robin Vos: (608)266-9171

·        Representative Jim Steineke: (608)266-2418

·        Representative Kevin Petersen: (608)266-3794

·        Representative Tyler August: (608)266-1190

·        Representative Tyler Vorpagel: (608)266-8530

Please ALSO call your personal Assembly Representative on TUESDAY, JUNE 8TH if they are not one of the individuals mentioned above and tell them to ask the above individuals to move AB309 forward.  

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Dear Wisconsin NVIC Advocacy Team Members,

Your action is needed to support several good bills that are scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday, June 2nd in the Assembly Committee on Constitution and Ethics. 

AB 309, AB299, AB303, AB316 and AB347 are all on the agenda for this hearing.  All of these bills prohibit discrimination against individuals based on their vaccination status.

AB 309 provides the most protection by adding vaccination status to current state laws that prohibit discrimination.  

AB 299 prohibits the state, any governmental entity, and any business or legal entity engaged in any enterprise in the state from requiring any person to provide proof that the person has received a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, as a condition of receiving any services, transacting any business, accessing any building, or participating in any function.

AB 303 prohibits any business or legal entity engaged in any enterprise in the state from discriminating against any customer, client, or potential customer or client based on that person's vaccination record.

AB 316 prohibits the state nor any governmental entity may discriminate against any person based on whether the person has received a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, or is able to show proof of having received such a vaccine, except as provided in s. 252.04 which is the school vaccine law.  This bill should be clarified that schools cannot require COVID-19 vaccines, but does not apply to those vaccines currently required for school.

AB 347 prohibits the University of Wisconsin System institutions and technical colleges from requiring students or prospective students to be tested for, or receive a vaccine against, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, as a condition of attendance or presence on campus.

ACTION NEEDED:

  1. Contact the following members of the Assembly Committee on Constitution and Ethics first who are not a sponsor or cosponsor of any of these bills and ask them to support prohibiting discrimination against individuals based on their vaccination status:

 

 

  1. Attend the hearing in the Assembly Committee on Constitution & Ethics on June 2, 2021 at 10:00 AM in Room 417 North (GAR Hall) and provide testimony in support of these bills.  For information on how to testify on a bill click here.  See agenda here
  2. Contact the other Members of the Assembly Committee on Constitution and Ethics and tell them why these bills are so important to you and your family.  You can also send your comments to the committee clerk William Neville at william.neville@legis.wisconsin.gov and ask him to provide a copy of your comments to the committee members.  See contact information and talking points below. 
  3. Contact your own Wisconsin State Assembly Representative and ask them to support these bills.  If you do not know who your State Representative is, register/login to the NVIC Advocacy Portal at http://NVICAdvocacy.org.  Click on the STATE TEAMS tab and select your state. Their name is displayed on the right side of the page and you can click on their name for contact information. You can also search here. Talking points are posted below.
  4. Sign up to get NVIC’s Wisconsin “Heads Up” text alerts by texting “Wisconsin” to 202-618-5488.
  5. Login to the NVIC Advocacy Portal OFTEN to check for updates and forward this email to family and friends.  Please ask them to register and share their concerns with their legislators as well. 

Assembly Committee on Constitution and Ethics

Representative Wichgers (Chair) - (608) 266-3363 or (888) 534-0083

Representative Thiesfeldt (Vice-Chair) - (608) 266-3156 or (888) 529-0052

Representative Allen - (608) 266-8580 or (888) 534-0097

Representative Ramthun - (608) 266-9175 or (888) 534-0059

Representative Magnafici - (608) 267-2365 or (888) 534-0028

Representative Murphy - (608) 266-7500 or (888) 534-0056

Representative Hebl - (608) 266-7678

Representative Pope - (608) 266-3520 or (888) 534-0080

Representative Cabrera – (608) 266-1707 or (888) 534-0009

Emails

Rep.Wichgers@legis.wisconsin.govRep.Thiesfeldt@legis.wisconsin.govRep.Allen@legis.wisconsin.govRep.Ramthun@legis.wisconsin.govRep.Magnafici@legis.wisconsin.govRep.Murphy@legis.wisconsin.govRep.Hebl@legis.wisconsin.govRep.Pope@legis.wisconsin.govRep.Cabrera@legis.wisconsin.gov


TALKING POINTS:

Support Legislation to Prevent Discrimination and Segregation Over Vaccination and Immunity Status –AB309 (personalize these to explain why passing these bills is important to you and your family)

It is vital for AB309 to become law in Wisconsin. This will ensure that law abiding healthy citizens are not prevented from working or participating in society. AB309 is a comprehensive bill that would prevent discrimination of any kind against persons who have chosen not to receive one or more vaccines.

The talk of vaccine passports for individuals to be permitted to participate in society are in development. Some states such as New York have already introduced a vaccine pass which would give COVID-19 vaccinated individuals special privileges. States like Oregon are demanding that businesses and places of worship check proof of vaccination status before permitting entry to people who are not wearing masks. Signs are appearing at Wisconsin businesses stating that unvaccinated people must wear masks to enter the premises. Once vaccine passports are permitted for one vaccine, it will be easy to add requirements for additional vaccines, including passports for current vaccines and even for future vaccines currently under development. While COVID-19 vaccine mandates have been the focus in recent months, it is important that protections are in place to ensure that individuals will not be discriminated against for declining any vaccine product. There are currently 20 different vaccines targeting viral and bacterial illnesses (not including the vaccine for SARS-CoV-2) on the CDC’s recommended adult vaccine schedule. These are all candidates for employers, businesses, and even insurance companies to require given the lack of current protection from such mandates.

There is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines will have any effect in terms of protecting people from getting the virus and spreading it. Vaccinated people are still being told to wear a mask and stay 6-feet apart from people because there is no evidence that the vaccine is capable of stopping the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Like COVID-19 vaccines, vaccines targeting pertussismeningococcal, and other bacteria and viruses do not stop transmission, but rather, may offer only personal protection for a period of time. This means that while both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals could potentially be contagious, only unvaccinated individuals will be discriminated against, and prevented from equal access to education, services, employment and more.

Discrimination of any kind is unacceptable, and yet discrimination, bullying and shaming of persons who have chosen to forgo one of more vaccinations is becoming acceptable by many in the media, public health, and academia. There have been media stories calling for the addresses of unvaccinated families to be made public in order to target and shame them. Articles have included language encouraging people to “Shame and Shun “anti-vaccine” parents or asking that they be jailed if they choose not to fully vaccinate their children. Medical professionals are refusing to treat the children of parents who decide to decline, delay, or selectively vaccinate. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that it is an “acceptable option for pediatric care clinicians to dismiss families who refuse vaccines.” Anyone who questions the safety or effectiveness of a vaccine is labeled “anti-vaccine” and quickly becomes a target of bullying, shaming and discrimination.

While vaccine exemptions for medical, religious, or personal reasons are available to daycare, and K to 12 students (Chapter 252.04), and during a declared State of Emergency (Chapter 252.041), protections to prevent discrimination on the basis of a person’s vaccine status are lacking in Wisconsin. There are no employment protections, or protections to ensure access to housing, medical care, higher education, life or health insurance for persons who have chosen not to receive one or more vaccines in Wisconsin law.

There are currently no state or federal exceptions to protect employees from vaccine mandates for any of the existing vaccines recommended by the CDC for reasons of conscience objections or otherwise. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission affirms the legal right of an employer to exclude the employee from the workplace even if an employee cannot get vaccinated for COVID-19 or another vaccine because of a disability or sincerely held religious belief and there is no reasonable accommodation possible. The state will have to step in and protect employees’ right to delay or refuse vaccines. While the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) allows employees to decline Hepatitis B Vaccines, and OSHA and many labor unions have expressed opposition to annual influenza vaccination policies that do not include religious and/or personal objection exemptions, there are far too many gaps in protection for employees to refuse vaccines for work. LRB2140 would ensure protection for all workers.

Individuals and parents may choose to exempt themselves or their children from vaccination for a number of reasons, which may include a previous serious reaction, vaccine injury of a loved one, or because they believe that the risk of harm outweighs any perceived benefit. They should not be banned from employment or participating in society for choosing not to receive a liability free pharmaceutical product.

All vaccines carry the risk of injury or death so there has to be informed consent and the right to refuse any vaccine without penalty. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has already paid out over $4.5 billion in damages. LRB2140 will ensure that individuals and families who have already been victims of vaccine injury are not unjustly discriminated against for declining to risk their life or health by receiving another vaccine product. People injured by a COVID-19 vaccine have little recourse. Vaccine manufacturers and providers are shielded from liability through the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, or PREP Act. This federal law establishes that the only option for compensation for COVID-19 vaccine victims is the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP). Only eight percent of all petitioners since 2010 have been awarded compensation through the CICP. No legal or medical expert fees are covered, no pain and suffering is awarded, lost wages are capped at $50,000, and there is no judicial appeal. The fact that vaccine injuries and deaths related to vaccines are real, and persons who take them can potentially be harmed, vaccination must always be voluntary.

Sincerely,

NVIC Advocacy Team
National Vaccine Information Center
http://NVIC.org and http://NVICAdvocacy.org
https://nvicadvocacy.org/members/Members/ContactUs.aspx

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) works diligently to prepare and disseminate our legislative advocacy action alerts and supporting materials.  We request that organizations and members of the public forward our alerts in their original form to assure consistent and accurate messaging and effective action. Please acknowledge NVIC as originators of this work when forwarding to members of the public and like-minded organizations. To receive alerts immediately, register  at http://NVICAdvocacy.org, a website dedicated to this sole purpose and provided as a free public service by NVIC.