HARRISBURG – The state House today approved legislation that would preserve medical freedoms for Pennsylvanians by prohibiting the use of vaccine passports and narrowing the powers of the Department of Health, said Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter).
“The people spoke loud and clear last month that they’d had enough of the unilateral authority of the Wolf administration during the past 16 months. They want their rights and their freedoms protected,” Owlett said. “The bill we passed today takes another step forward by ensuring all Pennsylvanians have the right to make the best medical decisions for ourselves and for our children.
“My vote today reflects what the vast majority of constituents in the 68th District have been asking for…NO vaccine passports!”
Senate Bill 618
would prohibit a government entity or an institution of higher education from requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to use the service, enter a building or undertake an activity. Institutions of higher education would include a post-secondary institution that received state funds, including funds from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).
The bill also would prohibit the expenditure of tax dollars to create an electronic vaccine tracking system.
Finally, the bill would narrow the authority of the secretary of Health relating to issues under the Disease Prevention and Control Act. Specifically, the secretary could not order the closure of a business or other entity or require an individual who has not been exposed or potentially exposed to a contagious disease to physically distance from others, wear a face covering, conduct a specific hygiene practice, shelter in place, quarantine or isolate from other individuals or restrict travel.
The bill now returns to the Senate for consideration.
Representative Clint Owlett
Pennsylvania House of Representatives