South Carolina lawmakers want to block COVID-19 mandates – Community News

South Carolina lawmakers want to block COVID-19 mandates

COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) — Of the many bills filed Wednesday in advance from the South Carolina House, several were designed to block COVID-19 mandates.

State lawmakers said South Carolinas should not lose their jobs or schooling opportunities because they are not vaccinated. They said it is important that these laws are passed to protect the rights of citizens.

“I think most people believe that, like the governor, mandates are wrong,” said R-Charleston Representative Joe Bustos.

Other lawmakers shared similar sentiments.

“A lot of us push back and think this is insane,” said R-Greenville Representative Mike Burns. “This is not a good idea.”

Nearly a dozen bills filed by state lawmakers related to COVID-19, with one goal in mind: to end mask and vaccine mandates.

“We’ve guaranteed constitutional rights and some people in this country right now are willing to sacrifice those rights for whatever reason,” Burns said.

Many of the bills are focused on the vaccine. One would prevent institutions from requiring vaccinations, while another would prevent the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) from imposing requirements for masks and vaccines.

Bustos sponsored a new bill that would prevent employers from firing employees who refuse to receive the vaccine, as long as they had previously had the virus or monoclonal therapy.

“There are ways that people have different antibodies than through a vaccine,” Bustos said. “I think in both circumstances, the people shouldn’t be fired if they have the antibodies.”

Perhaps the biggest bill to come out of the House is the one with the most sponsors; referred to as the “Montana Bill”, this would make it illegal to discriminate against anyone based on their vaccination status.

According to Burns, Governor Henry McMaster said that once it gets to his desk, he’ll be ready to sign it.

“Because there’s been a flu or a pandemic, none of these impose a timeout on the United States or the South Carolina Constitution, so at least the people are assured of their rights,” Burns said.

Once the house is pending again on January 11, the reading process for these bills will begin. Burns hopes some bills will be rushed through the committee urgently and brought to the table as soon as possible.