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Bill would prohibit COVID-19 vaccination passports in Michigan

The COVID-19 Vaccine Privacy Act would “ensure the role of government stays within the confines of our constitution,’’ its sponsor says.

LANSING, Mich. — State government would be prohibited from producing or issuing COVID-19 passports to show a person has been vaccinated, under legislation introduced this week. 

“My bill is simple: NO vaccine passports should be issued by state or local government in Michigan,’’ Rep. Sue Allor wrote on her Facebook page.

Allor, R-Wolverine, says the bill addresses what she calls the erosion of civil liberties. She says she has heard from constituents who are concerned about “how vaccine passports would negatively impact their daily lives.’’

Fourteen lawmakers have signed their name to House Bill No. 4667, including Rep. Luke Meerman, R-Coopersville.

“I absolutely don’t want any government agency to say you need a passport to attend a Detroit Tigers game or to show up at school,’’ Meerman said. “I am all about choice.’’

In a news release, Allor says the bill protects people from government overreach "that harms small businesses and industry across our state.''

Allor says she has heard from people who are worried that they will be unable to get a job or purchase groceries in a store “because of the possibility that this documentation would be required by the government.’’

A number of other state legislators have introduced similar bills, Allor said. Governors in Texas and Florida recently signed executive orders banning vaccine passports and any requirement of them by local governments and businesses, she said.

The Michigan bill does not prohibit businesses from requiring vaccine passports. A growing number of companies, including cruise lines, say they will have vaccine requirements.

According to WXYZ in Detroit, the Biden administration says it will not mandate a vaccine credential, nor has Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced plans to require a vaccine passport.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey this week used his executive powers to prohibit local and regional governments from making vaccine passports a requirement for people to enter businesses or get services, according to the Associated Press.

Businesses that decide they want to require a vaccine passport are exempted from the ban.

Montana’s governor also recently issued an executive order banning the development or use of vaccine passports there.

Meerman says residents of his conservative Ottawa County district “have no appetite for government mandates.’’

“It smacks of real authoritarian government that we are glad we don’t live in,’’ he said.

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