I wanted to give a quick update on two of my bills here in Annapolis:
HB699- State and Local Government- Proof of Vaccination for Employees and Applicants for Employment- Prohibition (Vaccination by Choice Act)
The bill hearing on HB 699 yesterday went incredibly well. One of my colleagues on the HGO committee said, it was the best and most informative bill hearing he has ever heard.
This bill prohibits COVID vaccine passports for state employees, employees, staff, and by amendment, the student body of Maryland colleges and universities.
132 people signed up to testify in favor of the legislation, either in person, virtually, or by submitting written testimony to the committee. Because 50 people signed up to give oral testimony, the most a bill can have- HB699 was saved for last on the docket. Despite the long day and late start, everyone who came to testify in person or waited to testify virtually stayed for the opportunity to address the committee with their expertise, stories, and experiences. I am so grateful for their dedication to this critical issue.
Many others took the time to write their support to the committee members, and I want to thank every person who reached out and advocated for this bill.
As I said in the hearing, I hope the committee members will come down on the side of the science, the data, and a genuine desire to get the health policy right and move this legislation. The bill does not stop anyone who wants to receive the vaccine. It simply puts the choice where it should be on the individual.