UPDATE: 6/24/2022 - HB 1495 was signed by the Governor and enacted as Chapter 263, effective 6/24/2022.
UPDATE: 5/13/2022 - House concurs with Senate amendment to HB 1495.
UPDATE: 4/21/2022 - HB 1495 passed the Senate in a 14-10 vote.
UPDATE: 4/14/2022 - HB 1495 passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee with an amendment. The amendment contains a slight wording change which does not affect NVIC Advocacy's position on the bill.
UPDATE: 3/29/2022 - HB 1495 is scheduled for hearing in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday, April 6th at 11:20 AM in State House Room 100. Agenda - https://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/senate/schedule/eventDetails.aspx?event=7266&et=1
UPDATE: 3/17/2022 - HB 1495 referred to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
UPDATE: 3/16/2022 - HB 1495 passed the House.
UPDATE: 3/9/2022 - HB 1495 passed the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee in an 11-10 vote with an amendment.
The amendment provides that the State and local governments shall not:
I. Force businesses to require proof of vaccination of customers or employees (except as specified in RSA 141-C:20-a, I) or
II. Require businesses to require or check for vaccine or immunity passports.
The bill exempts state agencies certifying a medical facility or provider subject to a Medicare or Medicaid vaccine requirement from these provisions.
The bill no longer prohibits any type of employer vaccine mandate. It simply prohibits governmental entities from making private businesses have such a mandate or other vaccine requirements.
NVIC Advocacy changed the title of this bill from "Prohibits state funded employers from requiring vaccines, except medical facilities during threat" to "Prohibits governmental entities from forcing businesses to require proof of vaccination" to reflect the amendment. The bill is a weak attempt to ban vaccine passports, however the bill still allows for vaccine mandates and has exceptions for Medicare.
UPDATE: 3/2/2022 - HB 1495 is scheduled for executive session in the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee on Monday, March 7th at 9:30 AM in Legislative Office Building Room 210-211. Agenda - https://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/schedule/eventDetails.aspx?event=7109&et=11
UPDATE: 2/4/2022 - HB 1495 is scheduled for hearing in the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee on Monday, Feb. 14th at 2:15 PM in Legislative Office Building Room 210-211. Hearing information and agenda - https://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/schedule/eventDetails.aspx?event=6925&et=1
HB 1495 was prefiled on 12/3/2021 to be introduced on 1/5/2022 and referred to the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee. This bill is sponsored by Representative Lanzara.
HB 1495 prohibits government employers and employers who are government contractors from issuing vaccine mandates on their employees, or otherwise requiring proof of vaccine or immunity status. These employers are also prohibited from discriminating against employees or other individuals based on non-receipt of a vaccine or not possessing proof of vaccine or immunity status. This means employers may not take any type of adverse action against these employees, such as reducing their pay or benefits, and they also may not require patrons or other individuals to show proof of vaccination or immunity status.
The exception to these provisions are medical facilities when a direct threat exists, which is defined as "a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of the individual or others that cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation." The bill contains certain criteria for assessing whether an unvaccinated individual poses a direct threat, including:
- The duration of the risk;
- The nature and severity of the potential harm;
- The likelihood that the potential harm will occur; and
- The imminence of the potential harm.
Some exemptions apply to these employees at medical facilities, including:
- When a doctor certifies that the vaccine is detrimental to an employee's health;
- When an employee objects to the vaccine based on religious beliefs (he or she must provide a notarized form);
- When a doctor certifies that the employee has natural immunity; or
- When an employee provides proof of natural immunity.
Medical facilities are allowed to implement additional protective measures for employees who work with certain populations, such as the elderly.
HB 1495 prohibits governmental entities from contracting with employers who issue vaccine mandates or who require proof of vaccine or immunity status from their employees or other individuals. Contractors who violate these provisions will have their contract automatically voided.
While many of the provisions in this bill are good and well-intended, NVIC does not support vaccine mandates. This bill could be improved by prohibiting all vaccine mandates on employees of medical facilities.
https://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/legacy/bs2016/bill_docket.aspx?lsr=2576&sy=2022&sortoption=&txtsessionyear=2022&txtbillnumber=hb1495 - text, status, and history of HB 1495.