By Mike Cason
The Alabama Legislature approved a bill Thursday night that says companies can’t fire employees for refusing to take a COVID-19 vaccination if the employees claim a medical or religious exemption.
Gov. Kay Ivey signed the bill into law on Friday. It takes effect immediately.
The Senate passed the bill, SB 9 by Sen. Chris Elliott, R-Fairhope, by a vote of 23-2. The vote was mostly along party lines.
The only no votes were from Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, and Sen. Larry Stutts, R-Sheffield.
Twenty-two of the Senate’s 27 Republicans voted for the bill. Four others were recorded as passing, which means they were absent or just did not vote.
Sen. Billy Beasley, D-Clayton, was the only one of eight Democratic senators to vote for the bill. Aside from Beasley and Singleton, the other six Democrats in the Senate passed.
The vote in the House was along party lines. The bill passed 75-27, with all the yes votes from Republicans and all the no votes from Democrats.