The Wyoming House of Representatives on Oct. 28 voted to move forward with two bills that would prevent businesses and the federal government from implementing certain kind of vaccine requirements.

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The first bill, House Bill 1001 had 18 amendments that the House debated, eventually adopting seven, voting down eight, and withdrawing three.

Of the amendments adopted, several had to do with cleaning up various language in the bill, while others took out certain parts of the bill, including $10 million that would have been appropriated for COVID-19 testing and adjusting the penalty for businesses that implement COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Previously, the bill had implemented a $100 per day fine on businesses that implemented a mandate, but now employees that are aggrieved by the mandate will need to file an unfair employment practice complaint with the Department of Workforce Services.

Several times throughout discussion of the bill, Speaker of the House Eric Barlow had to remind members to stay on topic when discussing various amendments, as some members would go off on tangents to talk about issues they had with the federal government.

The House also considered five amendments to House Bill 1002, which aims to prevent the enforcement of any COVID-19 vaccine requirements by the federal government through a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to $750.

While several amendments were proposed, the two that passed were ones to clarify language in the bill and the other three were withdrawn.

At the session on Thursday, two members, Representative Bill Fortner and Clark Stith, joined through Zoom, while two other members, Representatives Sandy Newsome and Robert Wharff, were excused.

On Oct. 29 the House will reconvene for a third and final reading of both bills before they are sent to the Senate, which must pass the same version of the bills before they can be sent to the governor and made into law.

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Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

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