Information on SB 4, SB 5, SB 6, and SB 7

Posted on Jan 20, 2021 in News


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INFORMATION ON SENATE BILLS 4, 5, 6, 7
2021-2022 LEGISLATIVE SESSION – STATE OF WISCONSIN

                                                                                                Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau

The bill prohibits the Department of Health Services [a state agency] and local health officers from requiring individuals to receive a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. Under current law, during a state of emergency related to public health declared by the governor, DHS may order any individual to receive a vaccination, except under certain medical circumstances or if the individual objects for religious or conscience reasons, and may isolate or quarantine an individual who is unwilling or unable to be vaccinate

This bill prohibits an employer from requiring an individual to receive a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus or show evidence of having received such a vaccine.

                                                                                                 Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau

Under the bill, during the remainder of the 2020-21 school year and during the 2021-22 school year, a school board may not close a school building to in-person instruction or to in-person instruction for a specific grade or grades for a period that exceeds 14 consecutive days. To extend such a closure beyond 14 consecutive days, the bill requires a two-thirds vote of the members of the school board. Under the bill, each extension may not exceed 14 consecutive days. The bill specifies that a school building is considered closed to in-person instruction if the school building is open to in-person instruction only for pupils receiving special education or related services. This bill also requires a school board to offer a full-time, in person option to all pupils enrolled in the district by no later than 15 days after the date on which the Department of Health Services indicates that COVID-19 vaccinations may be allocated to individuals in phase 1c. of the state’s vaccination prioritization guidelines. Under the bill, only upon a unanimous vote of the members of a school board, may a school board decide not to offer a full-time, in-person option to some or all pupils enrolled in the school district. Nothing in this bill applies to a virtual charter school.

                                                                                                 Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau

This bill prohibits local health officers from closing or forbidding gatherings in places of worship to control outbreaks and epidemics of the 2019 novel coronavirus. Currently, local health officers have the statutory authority to do what is reasonable and necessary for the prevention and suppression of disease and forbid public gatherings when necessary to control outbreaks or epidemics, among other public health powers.

These bills are currently in the Senate’s Committee on Human Services, Children and Families, chaired by Senator André Jacque (R-DePere). The hearing will be held in Room 417 North (GAR Hearing Room) in the State Capitol beginning at 12 noon, on Thursday, January 21, 2021. The overflow room for the hearing will be Room 400 North. The hearing notice is available HERE. Typically the bills are taken up in the order in which they are listed on the hearing notice, although the Chairman can, at his/her discretion, change the order.

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