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Wyoming Senate rejects bill requiring vaccine, mask mandate waivers be granted to K-12 students

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CASPER, Wyo. — Under existing Wyoming law, students can be waived from having to get required immunizations for preventable diseases if written evidence of medical reasons or religious objections is provided to officials.

During the Wyoming Legislature’s special session on Tuesday, the Senate rejected an effort to introduce a bill that would remove the requirement that evidence be shown when an exemption from a vaccine requirement is requested.

Senate File 1010, also known as the Grace Smith Freedom Act-2, would have required that state or county health officers grant immunization waivers for students at the request of a student’s parent or legal guardian. The bill would have required the waivers be granted within seven days.

In addition, the legislation proposed requiring that waivers to mask mandates be granted for any student whose parent or legal guardian requests one.

While the Senate rejected an effort to have the legislation introduced for consideration on a vote of 11-18, the concepts within the bill could still find footing during the special session. Similar legislation has been received for introduction in the House of Representatives.

The Senate’s vote on Tuesday was as follows:

  • Ayes: BITEMAN, BONER, BOUCHARD, ELLIS, FRENCH, HUTCHINGS, JAMES, MCKEOWN, SALAZAR, SCHULER, STEINMETZ
  • Nays: ANDERSON, BALDWIN, CASE, COOPER, DOCKSTADER, DRISKILL, FURPHY, GIERAU, HICKS, KINSKEY, KOLB, KOST, LANDEN, NETHERCOTT, PERKINS, ROTHFUSS, SCOTT, WASSERBURGER
  • Excused: PAPPAS

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