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Hobbs vetoes payments punishing companies for denying vaccine exemptions, public tenting

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Gov. Katie Hobbs on Thursday vetoed
Republican-backed payments that will have fined companies that didn’t
grant their staff spiritual exemptions from vaccines and made it
unlawful for the unhoused to camp in public areas.

The vaccine exemption would have required
all corporations in Arizona to permit staff — together with those that work
in well being care — to skip mandated vaccinations for the flu and COVID-19,
in addition to some other vaccine licensed by the U.S. Meals and Drug
Administration underneath emergency situations.

State regulation already permits staff to refuse the COVID-19 vaccine primarily based on spiritual beliefs, however Senate Invoice 1250 would
have given staff who weren’t afforded an opportunity to say a
spiritual exemption — or these whose request was denied and who have been
later fired — to go to the Legal professional Normal’s Workplace, which may launch
an investigation and wonderful an organization as much as $5,000.

At the moment, employers are directed to
present affordable lodging for workers with spiritual exemption
requests, which may embrace carrying a masks, working remotely or being
moved from an space the place there’s a danger of contact with susceptible

The laws additionally expanded spiritual exemptions to incorporate ethical or moral objections. 

SB1250 was accredited in each the state Home of Representatives and Senate with solely Republican help.

In her veto letter,
Hobbs wrote that the invoice is “pointless” given current federal regulation
defending staff’ spiritual beliefs. She added that the potential
fines “might be devastating for Arizona’s many small companies.” 

Sen. Janae Shamp, R-Shock, sharply criticized Hobbs for vetoing
her invoice when the Senate convened Thursday afternoon. She mentioned the
federal authorities isn’t defending staff’ rights, and so states
want to take action extra aggressively.

“And that’s precisely what this invoice was designed to do, and that’s
precisely why I’m right here — that’s the reason I’m an elected (senator), as a result of I
may now not work due to what occurred and there are a lot of out
there dealing with the identical factor,” she mentioned.

Shamp is a former nurse who mentioned she misplaced her job as a result of she refused to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The opposite invoice Hobbs vetoed Thursday was Senate Invoice 1024,
which sought to outlaw any tenting buildings on public rights-of-way,
streets, highways, alleys and sidewalks. It will have made it unlawful
for unhoused individuals to erect “a tent, tarp, field or comparable object” for
habitation in these public areas.

The invoice initially was a lot broader,
and would have barred individuals from mendacity, sleeping or sitting in a
public avenue, freeway, sidewalk or different right-of-way, but it surely was
amended within the Senate to use solely to makeshift buildings. 

In her veto letter,
Hobbs mentioned the proposal did nothing to deal with the housing disaster in
Arizona, notably within the Phoenix space, which has seen a spike in
homelessness amid skyrocketing housing prices because the pandemic.

“We have to handle Arizona’s housing
and homelessness disaster in a complete method. Somewhat than fixing
these points in a significant means, this invoice solely makes them much less
seen,” Hobbs wrote. “Now, greater than ever, it’s necessary that we’re
clear-eyed concerning the challenges we face and the urgency required to
overcome them.”

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