California May Impose Statewide COVID-19 Vaccine Passports: Assembly Bill 455

Californians might soon have to show proof of vaccination to enter indoor businesses.

QUICK FACTS:
  • The Los Angeles Times is reporting CA Governor Gavin Newsom and his aides are leading efforts to legalize a statewide coronavirus vaccination mandate with an amendment to bill AB 455.
  • An Assembly bill currently in the state Senate would need to be amended with the language to require a vaccination mandate.
  • The Times claim to have obtained a draft of the legislation, which “calls for anyone entering a bar, restaurant, gym, hotel, event center or sports arena to show proof that he or she is fully vaccinated.”
  • Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland)—one of the bill’s co-authors—said, “We are still not sure if we are going to introduce legislation at the end of session or in January” and that “There are a lot of conversations around what is the right policy.”
  • However, “The draft bill is listed as an urgency measure, which would allow it to take effect immediately if passed by two-thirds of lawmakers and signed by the governor,” notes the Times.
  • Some are referring to this legislature as a “gut-and-amend-bill,” meaning original sections of AB 455 were taken out in order to accommodate the new amendments.
WHAT ELSE THE BILL SAYS:
  • A leaked portion of the amendment to the bill says, “In order to avoid further shutdowns and prevent the health care system from becoming overwhelmed, it is critical that all eligible Californians get vaccinated against COVID-19.”
  • The additions to AB 455 also call for all employees, job applicants, and independent contractors to show proof that they’re fully vaccinated or else take a weekly COVID-19 test with proof of a negative result, the Times notes.
  • Sources in the Legislature told the Times that Senate leadership indicates “they would allow the bill to be introduced only if the governor, Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) reach an agreement on the legislation first, it receives the support of labor unions and the California Chamber of Commerce, and if Wicks confirms there are enough ‘yes’ votes from two-thirds of the lawmakers in each house.”
HOW CALIFORNIANS CAN CONTACT THEIR SENATORS & ASSEMBLY MEMBERS:
  • A representative from the Senate Committee responsible for the passage of this bill suggested that California residents who want to lodge support or opposition to the bill should email and call their State Senate and Assembly Members.
  • Residents calling after hours can leave a voicemail, stating their support or opposition to AB 455, their full name, and zip code.
  • This link allows you to find and contact your local representative.
WHAT THE INTERNET IS SAYING:
  • One Instagram user posted a video (below) in which she speculates how the bill could be set to a vote as early as Monday (Aug 30). She encourages her audience to contact relevant government officials and voice their opposition.

Jon Fleetwood is Managing Editor for American Faith.