Ban on vaccine passports advances following rowdy hearing

An viewers member was hauled off in handcuffs in a rowdy listening to.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Sen. Dan McCay, asks questions of a witness, throughout the Senate Enterprise and Labor Committee dialogue of SR1, which is able to restrict media entry to the Senate flooring and committee rooms, on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.

Tuesday’s Senate listening to on banning vaccine passports featured the standard appeals to guard private liberty that has change into a well-known refrain throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However there have been different gadgets from the tradition warfare guidelines, together with a splash of misinformation and a comparability to the Holocaust and Nazi Germany. There was additionally an viewers member hauled off in handcuffs.

Committee chair Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, warned attendees to the Senate Income and Tax Committee about breaking guidelines of decorum.

“One in all our guidelines is simply don’t be a jerk. We don’t enable posters. We don’t enable stickers. We don’t enable outbursts or demonstrations,” McCay mentioned earlier than pausing the committee for a number of minutes so the group may take away the pro-HB60 stickers they had been sporting. One particular person refused to take away his, which resulted in his ejection from the room by Utah state troopers offering safety.

McCay even went as far as to warn Rep. Walt Brooks, R-St. George, the invoice’s sponsor to remain on subject, leading to a testy trade between the 2 lawmakers.

“I do know our guidelines say they’re to not present any stickers or flags,” Brooks mentioned earlier than he was shortly interrupted by McCay.

”Consultant, don’t check the mettle of the chair,” McCay shot again.

”I don’t intend to, however I do imagine I’ve a proper to talk,” Brooks countered.

“Consultant, please hold your feedback germane to your invoice,” McCay mentioned sternly, which defused the state of affairs.

Whereas HB60 was born of the COVID-19 pandemic, it goes a lot additional in response. It blocks most non-public companies and governments from requiring the general public to point out proof of vaccination. The committee softened a provision barring employers from requiring vaccinations, altering the invoice to exempt staff from vaccine necessities who’ve a health care provider’s notice proving a earlier an infection.

Brooks and supporters turned to a smorgasbord of arguments in protection of the invoice, portray it as a civil rights measure, a human rights invoice, safety for private medical info and knowledge, a bulwark in opposition to a creeping “technocracy” or a protect in opposition to forcing somebody to bear a compelled medical process.

“Simply because I personal a enterprise, that doesn’t imply I’ve a proper to your non-public well being info. How can we draw the road?” Brooks requested.

If the invoice passes, non-public companies would not have the power to maintain unvaccinated Utahns off their premises. The Bayou restaurant in Salt Lake Metropolis is likely one of the few companies within the state with such a requirement. Proprietor Mark Alston informed lawmakers HB60 was an egregious overreach by the federal government.

“You’re about to create a protected class of individuals based mostly on 9 months of self-perceived oppression. It is a unhealthy, unhealthy concept,” Alston mentioned.

The end result was by no means unsure because the committee authorized the altered invoice on a 7-2 vote, sending it to the total Senate.