Prohibits governmental entities from requiring COVID-19 vaccines or closing schools or businesses to prevent the spread of COVID-19

State: TX
Bill Number: HB 5027/SB 29
Position: SUPPORT
Action Required: NONE
Status: ENACTED, SB 29 Signed by Governor Greg Abbott on 6/2/2023, effective 9/1/2023

Legislation Details:

UPDATE: 6/2/2023 - SB 29 was enacted an signed by Governor Greg Abbott on 6/2/2023. It's effective date is 9/1/2023.

UPDATE: 5/29/2023 - SB 29 was sent to Governor Greg Abbott for signature on 5/29/2023.

UPDATE: 5/29/2023 - SB 29 was enrolled by the Senate and signed in both the House and Senate. A link to the enrolled version is here.  The final version of this bill prohibits a government entity from mandating a face covering with some exceptions and prohibits a government entity from mandating a COVID-19 vaccine.  The bills also prohibits government entities from mandating closures of private businesses or schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

UPDATE: 5/28/2023 - SB 29 was reconciled by the conference committee and passed both House (90:53) and Senate (vote not yet available) on 5/28/2023.

UPDATE: 5/26/2023 - SB 29 was reported from the conference committee on 5/26/2023. The corrected conference committee reported was filed but not available yet. 

UPDATE: 5/25/2023 - SB 29 was sent to the Senate with House amendments, the Senate refused to concur and SB 29 was referred to a Conference Committee on 5/25/2023. 

UPDATE: 5/23/2023 - SB 29 passed the 3rd Reading in the House on 5/23/2023 by unofficial vote of 87 Yeas, 60 Nays, 1 NV. 

UPDATE: 5/22/2023 - SB 29 passed the second reading in the House 86:53.  This was after 2 amendments were adopted adding more facilities exempt from the prohibition on mask mandates.

UPDATE: 5/17/2023 - SB 29 passed the House State Affairs Committee as a committee substitute on 5/17/2023 by a vote of 9:3. The substitute adds open-enrollment charter schools to the the definition of "Governmental entity."  The substitute also added more exceptions to prohibition of mask mandates. The section on the prohibition on COVID-19 vaccine mandates  added the exception in the substitute that the "prohibition under Subsection (a) applies only to the extent the prohibition does not conflict with the final rule adopted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and published at 86 Fed. Reg. 61555 (November 5, 2021)". This is bad and needs to be removed from the bill and not accepted by the Senate because even that federal rule requiring the COVID-19 vaccine on employees in health care facilities accepting payment from Medicaid or Medicare has been rescinded.  It makes no sense to keep the mandate from the time the rule was initially published in the federal register.

UPDATE: 5/8/2023 - SB 29 is scheduled for a hearing in the House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday, 5/10/2023 at 8:00 am in the John H. Reagan (JHR) Building Room 140. The agenda is here. 

UPDATE: 4/13/2023 - SB 29 crossed over to the House and was referred to the House State Affairs Committee.

UPDATE: 4/3/2023 - SB 29 passed Third Reading in the full Senate by a vote of 20 Yeas, 10 Nays on 4/3/2023. View engrossed text HERE

UPDATE: 3/30/2023 - SB 29 was read for a second time in the full Senate after a motion was passed to suspend the regular order of business to take up for consideration SB 29 at this time on its second reading. It then passed to engrossment by a vote of 20 Yeas, 11 Nays on 3/30/2023. 

UPDATE: 3/29/2023 - SB 29 was placed on the intent calendar on 3/29/2023. 

UPDATE: 3/23/2023 - SB 29 passed the House County Affairs Committee without amendments on 3/23/2023 by vote of 8 Yes, 3 No.

UPDATE: 3/23/2023 - HB 5027 was referred to the House County Affairs Committee on 3/22/2023.

UPDATE: 3/18/2023 - SB 29 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on State Affairs on 3/20/2023 at 10:00 AM in Room SHB 380.  See agenda here. 

Public testimony will be limited to 2 minutes. If submitting written testimony, please provide 25 copies to the committee clerk with your name and the bill number on each copy.

HB 5027 was filed on by 3/10/2023. This bill is sponsored by Representative Steve Toth.  SB 29 was referred to the Senate Committee on State Affairs on 3/9/2023. It is sponsored by Senator Brian Birdwell

These bills prohibit a governmental entity from:

Requiring a person to wear a face mask or other face covering to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Mandating a person to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Requiring the closure of a private business, public school, open-enrollment charter school, or private school to prevent the spread of COVID.

These bills DO NOT stop employers from mandating vaccines and that has been one of the greatest problems, especially for the COVID-19 vaccine which this bill is attempting to address.

NVIC does not support vaccine mandates.  These prohibitions should apply to all entities and all vaccines, however, this bill will still help a lot of people, especially government employees, be protected by government abuses of COVID-19 mandates.  

The provisions of this Act take effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house. If it passes by a smaller majority, it will take effect September 1, 2023. - text, status, and history of HB 5027 - text, status, and history of SB 29