The South Carolina House of Representatives defeated an effort to ban public employees from being forced to take a coronavirus vaccine as a requirement to work. Currently, no public employees are being required to take the vaccine. However, it is widely anticipated that many public employees will be required to take the vaccine once a surplus of the vaccines becomes available.
Representatives voted 85 to 35 to table Amendment Number 3 to House Bill 4100, which proclaims, “State agencies, public schools, institutions of higher learning, and local governmental entities shall be prohibited from requiring employees to undergo vaccination to prevent COVID-19. Agencies, schools, institutions, entities shall not utilize state, federal, or other funds appropriated in this act to take any discriminatory action against an employee choosing not to receive the vaccine.”
House Bill 4100 is to provide ten billion in funding for public employees.
House Majority Leader Gary Simrill, a Republican, united with Democrat leaders to defeat the amendment. Simrill told legislators, “the person who may end up dying could be your own grandfather, niece, or nephew.”
The amendment was introduced by Steven Long, who stated, “It’s one thing to recommend and encourage. It’s another thing to require. We go down a dangerous road when we mandate vaccines.”
Republicans have a super-majority of the South Carolina House, 65.3% of the 124 seats. A majority of all Republicans and all but one Democrats united to defeat the amendment. A total of eight representatives either abstained or were absent.
The following Representatives voted in support of the amendment: