Illinois bill would outlaw discrimination against unvaccinated people

Coronavirus Vaccine

(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Newly proposed legislation in Illinois would make it illegal to discriminate against anyone who chooses not to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

The bill, filed by Rep. Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich), would prevent any person, public official or workplace from requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for anyone who chooses not to get it.

“The Freedom Act” would also allow a person to file a lawsuit if they feel their religious rights have been violated.

Niemberg said the legislation is necessary to curb a government he said is “using the pandemic as an excuse to strip away Americans of their rights.”

“Public health should not be an excuse to take away our freedoms and liberties. We should take steps to promote public health, but we must do so in the context of our rights as Americans,” he said.

The Republican lawmaker said he drafted the legislation in response to a bill filed last week by Democrat Rep. Jonathan Carrol, which would amend the Illinois Insurance Code so that anyone who chooses not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine would have to pay their health care expenses out of pocket if they seek medical treatment.

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