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Iowa’s new anti-vaccine mandate bill clears its first legislative test in hours-long hearing

By Ian Richardson | 10 February 2022

DES MOINES REGISTER — Opponents of vaccination mandates crowded into a Capitol meeting room Thursday for several hours to support a bill that would widely ban vaccination and mask mandates at businesses, governmental entities and schools. 

The meeting came to an abrupt end around 5 p.m. as Rep. Bruce Hunter, the lone Democrat on the subcommittee, said the agreed-upon time for the meeting had run out. He left the room to join his colleagues in the House chamber, where lawmakers were also holding votes in the afternoon.

But the two Republicans decided to stay longer than the allotted three hours to allow many more people the chance to speak. After Hunter left, they announced that they would advance the bill to the full House State Government Committee.

The hearing — which extended significantly longer than most legislative subcommittee meetings — was the first test for a far-reaching bill that would specify that businesses, governments and schools couldn’t fire workers based on their medical treatment status, including vaccinations. […]

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