Freeport lawmaker sponsors bill to ban vaccine passports

Chesney’s bill is filed as House Bill 4081.
Vaccine passports are sparking a worldwide debate.
Vaccine passports are sparking a worldwide debate.(NBC National)
Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 4:30 PM CDT
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FREEPORT, Ill. (WIFR) - State Representative Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) sponsored legislation in the Illinois House this week to ban vaccine passports.

“Vaccine passports should not be a requirement for Illinoisans,” Chesney said. “This would not only be an infringement on the liberties and freedom of Illinoisans, but also a violation of our constituents’ medical privacy. To envision a society where we restrict the rights of some by the nature of medical treatments they have received or not received is not only discriminatory, but dystopian.”

The first vaccine passport of its kind was launched in New York by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Called the “Excelsior Pass,” it works through an app enabling users to prove their vaccination status or COVID-19 test result in order to gain entry to events and businesses. Madison Square Garden and the Times Union Center in Albany have already begun using the app, Cuomo’s office said, with the Excelsior Pass having expanded to “smaller arts, entertainment and event venues” in April.

Chesney’s bill is limited to public events.

“Additional legislation may be needed if politicians’ hyperbolic rhetoric about protecting businesses who choose to discriminate based on vaccine status continues down this path,” Chesney said.

To date, at least 19 states have initiated legislation or issued executive orders banning or severely restricting the use of vaccine passports and prohibiting discrimination based on vaccine status. They include Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Iowa, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Chesney’s bill is filed as House Bill 4081. You can learn about this and other legislative issues being debated in the 102nd General Assembly at Rep. Chesney’s state website.

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