Arkansas legislation allowing vaccination mandate opt-outs will become law without governor's signature

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Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is letting two bills that allow employees to opt out of COVID-19 vaccination mandates to become law without his signature, he announced Oct. 13.

The bills, Senate Bill 739 and House Bill 1977, were passed in the Arkansas General Assembly.

"[The bills] are unnecessary, and the conversation has been harmful to our goal of encouraging vaccines," Mr. Hutchinson said in a news release. The governor also said he did not veto the legislation to allow an extra 90 days for them to be challenged in court before they become effective.

"These two bills are designed to push back on President [Joe] Biden's vaccination mandate for federal contractors and employers with more than 100 employees," Mr. Hutchinson said.

"I am opposed to the current mandate by the Biden Administration, but the solution is not to place additional mandates on employers at the state government level. The solution is not to put employers in a squeeze play between state and federal law."

Bills become law in Arkansas if they sit on the governor's desk for five days without vetoes.

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