Texans have had enough with the COVID hysteria, but the current laws on our books don’t protect all of us from the threat of future mask mandates and vaccine requirements.
In May 2021, a year after the COVID lockdown began, Governor Abbott issued an executive order (EO) banning governmental mask mandates, and issued another EO which banned vaccine mandates in October, 2021. These orders stayed in effect until the Governor lifted the COVID emergency declaration in June, 2023.
So are we protected now?
Because our Legislature failed to enact law that would replace both of these executive orders, Texans are vulnerable, once again, to having to make the difficult choice between their job and the jab.
In June, the Governor signed SB29 which, starting on September 1, prohibits state and local governments from imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates and mask requirements. This ostensibly protects government employees from tyranny, but the bill carries no criminal penalty. But more importantly, this half-measure absolutely fails to protect the millions of Texans who don’t work for the government.
Shockingly, Americans are hearing about imminent closures and the re-imposition of draconian mask and vaccine mandates in light of a “recent spike” in cases and a new emerging “variant.” Yesterday, we learned that Runge ISD, located in South Texas, is closing for a week due to COVID. With the threat of future mandates, many Texans are concerned about the very real risk to their livelihoods if they refuse to comply.
Rumors of future mandates aren’t just being heard in Texas. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul recently told Jesse Watters of Fox News that the threat of COVID restrictions is meant to fuel fear and fill the pockets of those who profit the most — the pharmaceutical companies.
In the third special session of the last biennium (October, 2021), Rep. Tom Oliverson filed HB155 which would have protected Texans from vaccine mandates. Unfortunately this bill died in the Texas House. This year, Rep. Brian Harrison filed HB81, which would have prohibited entities from requiring COVID vaccinations. Sadly, this bill also died in the House Calendars Committee.
It’s worth noting that our current Representative for HD64 did not sign onto either of these bills. In 2021, he also voted against an amendment that would have kept children under ten years old from having to wear masks inside the Texas House.
However, I would like to personally applaud Representative Brian Harrison’s efforts to urge Governor Greg Abbott to call a special session to outlaw vaccine mandates once and for all.
Nobody should be forced to wear a mask or take a jab if they choose not to. And yet, if your company forces you to take a vaccine and you have a catastrophic and expensive reaction, the business is completely indemnified from civil liability, thanks to your Texas Legislature.
It’s also worth noting that in 2021 during the 87th Regular Legislative Session, House Legislators (including our HD64 Representative) voted to codify “local laws, rules, ordinances, declarations, and proclamations related to the pandemic disaster.” This means that if a business does not follow CDC guidelines, they become liable and subject to harassment by “mask-nazis,” having the effect of encouraging the very tyranny-via-fiat that we came to hate during the COVID years. Ultimately this devastating language found its way into SB6, which was signed by the Governor in June, 2021.
While we are asking (and praying) for a special session, we need fighters in Austin who stand up for your rights at the outset, not after years of medical tyranny. That’s why I also believe we need to amend the Texas Constitution to recognize the unalienable right of the people to refuse vaccination and ensure that vaccination status cannot be made a condition of employment, travel, education, business, governmental services, or any other action.
Our laws should protect our liberties. Employees should never be fired for refusing vaccines by companies that bear no legal responsibility for complications. We must never again be forced to mask our kids.
I’m running for Representative of Texas House District 64 and will fight to ensure that Texans are never extorted by their employers to have a medical procedure that they don’t want or need.