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Arkansas lawmakers gave initial approval to measures that would prohibit requiring proof of a coronavirus vaccination to access services and government- imposed mask mandates.
The Associated Press reports the majority-Republican Senate approved by a 23-8 vote a ban on governments or private entities requiring “passport vaccines” in order to access goods or services on Tuesday, in a suit similar to one passed in Florida.
While some federal officials said there is no plan to require vaccine passports, the AP reports some Republican governors have issued orders preventing businesses or agencies from mandating them.
“We can either address it today ,or we can allow it to steamroll us over,” Republican Sen. Trent Garner, who proposed the bill, said before the vote. The AP reports the bill now heads to the House.
The majority-Republican House, meanwhile, approved a separate measure that would prohibit state agencies or local governments from imposing mask mandates, the article states.
Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson lifted the state’s mask requirement last month but said cities could continue enforcing them. The measure passed on a 69-20 vote and will head back to the Senate for a final vote.