Coronavirus Coverage from KARK

Arkansas lawmakers continue debating vaccine mandate measures, business owners speak out on possible law

Politics

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Vaccine mandates and employment status are still a hot topic of debate in the General Assembly.  Many senators feel mandating vaccines for employees should not be allowed.

“And you definitely shouldn’t be trying to force it on someone,” Senator Jason Rapert said.

Sen. Rapert believes these mandates infringe on people’s liberties especially with the federal mandate looming on businesses.  Sen. Rapert believes this is a vast government overreach.

“It’s getting to the point people are feeling they are backed into a corner.  We should not be complicit with this charade in this country,” Sen. Rapert said.

Senator Johnathan Dismang has maintained throughout this portion of the session that the laws being debated are just mandates masked as prohibiting mandates.  He says private businesses should be allowed to run their business how they see fit, even if that means mandating vaccines.

“They have rights to manage the property they borrowed money for, put capital up for, whatever you want to say.  They made the investment, they took the risk, they made the sacrifice, and they are gainfully employing people because of that,” Sen. Dismang explained.

Vijay Modasaya helps run 4Square Café and Gifts in the Rivermarket and says their business has not felt the need to mandate vaccinations.

“We definitely encourage our employees to take the vaccines,” Modasaya said.

He said he would be fine with the government mandating vaccines because he feels mass vaccinations is the best way to move forward.

Modasaya said his store will be supportive if any mandates come down that affect them.

“If the mandate comes I think we are, we are ready,” Modosaya said.

The bill did pass out of the Senate on Wednesday morning but the Senate voted to hold on to the bill, which means the bill is not currently being sent to the Governor’s desk for his action.

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