Iowa lawmakers consider vaccine mandate exemption bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Republican leaders in the Iowa Legislature will consider a bill that would make it more difficult for businesses to require employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The bill was made public on Thursday minutes before lawmakers were to begin a special session that was convened to address redistricting.

It would require businesses to allow medical and religious exemptions for COVID-19 vaccine mandates and would guarantee that employees who are fired for deciding not to get vaccinated for COVID-19 are eligible for unemployment insurance.

The bill has been a priority of Gov. Kim Reynolds, who has opposed government mandates for masks and vaccines even though science has shown both to be effective in reducing the virus’ spread.