The COVID pandemic has caused Americans to readjust their lives as state officials volley back and forth on mask mandates and other limits. Now that 66.2% of the United States has been vaccinated, according to Our World in Data’s website, some restrictions have been lifted. However, in California (and likely other blue states soon to follow), lawmakers are proposing several bills that, if passed, will impose many permanent changes on the Golden State’s residents – creating, it seems, something like a medical autocracy.
Everything from mandatory vaccines for employees – including independent contractors – and children to using police to enforce public health mandates is on the table. Some bills would punish physicians who had alternative views on COVID, while others are going after social media “disinformation” spreaders. Liberty Nation has compiled a list of the proposed Senate and Assembly bills and where they’re at in the approval process in California, which has 71.3% of its population vaccinated.
Proposed Senate Bills
SB-871: Requires Full COVID Vaccination to Attend Schools
Introduced by Senator Richard Pan (D), this bill would include COVID vaccinations in its list of mandatory vaccines children need to have before attending school. It includes “public or private elementary or secondary school, childcare center, day nursery, nursery school, family day care home, or development center.”
Currently, there are exemptions for medical and personal beliefs, but if passed, SB-871 would remove “the personal belief exemption from and additional immunization requirements deemed appropriate by the department.”
Status: Introduced Jan. 24 and passed Feb. 7 with 31 ayes and 6 noes. Due to COVID health restrictions, it has not yet had a second reading nor had a hearing set.
Introduced by Democratic Senators Scott Wiener and Richard Pan, SB 866 would allow minors, 12 years and older, to receive vaccinations without the consent of their parents. Current law allows minors to seek treatment without parental consent if they have been exposed to a disease.
Status: First introduced on Jan. 20, it passed on Feb. 7 with 31 ayes and 6 noes. It was amended in the Senate on March 9 and read for a second time.
SB-920: Medical Records
Introduced by Senator Melissa Hurtado (D), if passed, SB-920 would allow for a board investigator and a medical consultant “to inspect the business location and records of a physician or surgeon, including patient and client records.” It also states that the bill would “provide that in the case where consent of a patient to inspect patient records is not present, the board investigator and medical consultant may inspect records in the office of the licensee for the limited purpose of determining whether good cause exists to seek a subpoena for those records.”
Status: Amended in the Senate on March 29 along with a second reading. A hearing was set for April 4 but was canceled at the request of the author.
SB-1390: Social Media Disinformation
Introduced by Senator Pan, SB-1390 would prohibit a social media platform “from amplifying harmful content in a manner that results in a user viewing harmful content from another user with whom the user did not choose to share a connection.” In other words, “to take action, either through manual or automatic means, that has the effect of increasing the viewership of certain material.” The proposed bill further states:
“[H]armful content includes libel or slander, as specified, threats of imminent violence against governmental entities, and disinformation or misinformation, including, but not limited to, false or misleading information regarding medicine or vaccinations, false or misleading information regarding elections, and conspiracy theories.”
The bill would authorize enforcement via civil action and penalties.
Status: First read on Feb. 18 and amended by the Senate on March 14, it is set for a hearing on April 26.
SB-1464: Peace Officers Must Enforce Health Guidelines
Introduced by Senator Pan, law enforcement would be required to enforce public health guidelines or lose their funding. According to the proposed bill, a state-mandated local program would be created and “additionally prohibit state funds from being provided to any law enforcement agency that publicly announces that they will oppose, or adopts a policy to oppose, a public health order.”
Status: It was introduced and first read on Feb. 18 and amended in the Senate on March 28. So far, hearings have been canceled at the request of the bill’s author.
SB-1479: Required COVID Testing in Schools
Introduced by Senator Pan, SB-1479 would require more extensive plans for COVID testing in schools. According to the text, “Each local educational agency shall designate one staff member to report information on its COVID-19 testing program to the State Department of Public Health.”
Status: Amended on March 21 and passed with nine ayes and two noes. A hearing is set for April 27.
Proposed Assembly Bills
AB-1797: Immunization Registry
Introduced by Assembly Member Akilah Weber (D), AB-1797 would change the operations of the California Immunization Record database, requiring vaccine providers to hand over information on children to the registry. It would also require children’s race and ethnicity to be reported. This tracking system would provide government agencies with vaccination standings on children and individuals.
Status: First read on Feb. 7 and amended in the Assembly on March 24.
AB-1993: Requires Proof of Vaccination for Employees
Introduced by Assembly Members Buffy Wicks and Evan Low. The text of AB-1993 reads that it would “require an employer to require each person who is an employee or independent contractor, and who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, to show proof to the employer” that they have been vaccinated. Exemptions would include medical issues and a “sincerely held religious belief” that would have to comply with state and federal laws. As of January 1, 2023, employers would need to provide “in a form and manner provided by the department, that each employee or independent contractor complied with these provisions” or face a penalty. However, the bill does allow that it can be repealed if or when the CDC determines COVID vaccinations are no longer needed.
Status: First read on Feb. 10. A hearing was set and then canceled by the author of the bill on March 29.
AB-2098: Physicians Can Be Disciplined For Their Opinion
Introduced by Assembly Member Low, “This bill would designate the dissemination or promotion of misinformation or disinformation related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, or ‘COVID-19,’ as unprofessional conduct. The bill would require the board to consider specified factors prior to bringing a disciplinary action against a physician and surgeon.”
Status: The bill was first read on Feb. 14. No other action is scheduled as of the time of this writing.
State Senator Josh Newman (D) said, “These bills all attempt to bring cohesion, consistency and clarity to our overall approach and response to the pandemic.”
But not everyone agrees. General Council for Physicians for Informed Consent argued, “Each of these bills removes the civil rights of some group. California has really alienated families and this is going to take more people out of the state.”
California is considering the strictest proposals, by far, of all the 50 states – at least for now. New Hampshire, for example, is pondering a mandate for a federal Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccination for its school children while New York is still considering whether a vaccine should be required for school attendance. By contrast, Alabama lawmakers are considering a bill that will allow employers to be sued if they mandate vaccination and an employee suffers an injury or death because of it.
But Senator Pan, a pediatrician and the author of several Senate bills, said, “The virus is not going away. And so, it’s not just about temporary measures but we need ongoing measures to keep this virus under control.”
California has a Democratic trifecta, meaning the Party controls the office of the governor as well as both state legislative chambers. There are 20 Senate seats up for re-election in 2022. Still, the Golden State appears to be heading down a path toward absolute government control of its residents – all in the name of public health.