Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) on Monday directed state agencies to resist President Joe Biden’s coronavirus vaccine mandate.
The Associated Press reports:
Ivey signed an executive order forbidding executive branch agencies — which include agencies such as Medicaid, Mental Health and Human Resources — from penalizing employees or businesses for non-compliance with the federal vaccine mandate. If federal law requires the penalty, Ivey directed the state entity to take steps to notify the affected business or individual that Alabama does not condone the penalty.
“The federal government’s outrageous overreach has simply given us no other option, but to begin taking action, which is why I am issuing this executive order to fight these egregious covid-19 vaccine mandates,” Ivey said in a statement. “Alabamians – and Americans alike – should and must have the choice to roll up their sleeves to get this shot and certainly not forced by government. While President Biden laughs at the idea of protecting your freedoms, I will continue fighting for Alabama businesses and their employees.”
The governor added: “I am adamantly opposed to federal mandates related to the covid-19 vaccine and adamantly opposed to state mandates related to the covid-19 vaccine, plain and simple. As long as I am your governor, the state of Alabama will not force anyone to take a covid-19 vaccine. Through today’s order, the state of Alabama is making our position on this issue crystal clear. A state law in response to President Biden is not enough. The courts are where this will be resolved. Today is one step in this fight, but certainly not the last.”
The federal vaccine mandate will order private companies with over 100 employees to implement required vaccinations or weekly testing for employees by December 8.
On Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced that he will call state lawmakers back for a special session to add “protections” in relation to Biden’s vaccine mandate.
“What we are going to be doing, in addition to mounting aggressive legal challenges to federal mandates, we are also going to be taking legislative action to add protections for people in the state of Florida. And that’s something that cannot wait until the regular legislative session next year,” DeSantis said at the time.