Requires community colleges that mandate COVID vaccines & receive certain funds provide exemptions for students & employees, in Education Budget bill

State: MI
Bill Number: SB 845
Position: WATCH
Action Required: None
Status: Enacted Public Act 144 of 2022, effective 7/20/2022

Legislation Details:

SB 845 is a bill that makes appropriations for schools for the fiscal year ending in 2023.  The bill as enacted includes the following restriction on certain funds appropriated for Michigan Community Colleges -See pages 124 and 125 of the final Public Act #144 of 2022 -  The Governor did use her line-item veto for a few sections, however the following was left in the bill: 

Sec. 210h. (1) If a community college that receives an appropriation in section 201 establishes a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy, it shall provide exemptions to that policy to the following students and employees:

(a) Any student or employee for whom a physician certifies that a COVID-19 vaccine is or may be detrimental to the student’s or employee’s health or is not appropriate.

(b) Any student or employee who provides a written statement to the effect that the requirements of the COVID-19 vaccine policy cannot be met because of religious convictions or other consistently held objection to immunization.

(2) It must be presumed that a student or employee who requests an exemption under subsection (1) is entitled to that exemption. The community college shall grant that student’s or employee’s request unless it determines by clear and convincing evidence that the student or employee is not entitled to that exemption. A community college shall not deny an exemption solely because the student or employee previously received another vaccine.

(3) A community college shall not deny a student’s or employee’s request for an exemption until it has explored every reasonable accommodation. An accommodation more burdensome or stringent than relevant state or federal guidelines is presumptively unreasonable.

(4) If a community college denies a student’s or employee’s request for an exemption, the community college shall issue a written report fully explaining its reasons for the denial. That report must describe all reasonable accommodations the community college offered the student or employee and the student’s or employee’s response.

(5) Every community college shall submit a written report regarding its actions taken under this section no later than March 15 of each year to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on community colleges, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the state budget director. This annual report must include the following information, which may be obtained from any reliable source that complies with applicable laws regarding student privacy:

(a) The number of students and employees who have requested an exemption from the community college’s COVID-19 vaccine policy.

(b) The number of students and employees who have been granted an exemption.

(c) The number of students and employees in noncompliance with the community college’s COVID-19 vaccine policy.

(6) No provision of this section is to be construed as requiring a community college to violate any federal law. - text, status and history for SB 845