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Missouri lawmaker calls for special session to stop vaccine mandates

Posted at 6:15 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 19:15:46-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Wednesday, a Missouri lawmaker called on Gov. Mike Parson to call a special session to prevent employers from mandating employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Republican Sen. Rick Brattin sent a letter to Parson requesting the special session.

The republican lawmaker from Harrisonville said his request to stop vaccine mandates came from stories he heard from constituents.

"The medical community, that's probably been the biggest outcry of nurses, doctors that are being forced as a term of employment," Brattin said. "But it's not just in the medical field that it seems to be kind of spreading throughout."

Brattin's request is getting resistance from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

President and CEO Daniel Mehan of the chamber released a statement on Thursday opposing Brattin's request.

“The Missouri Chamber stands against attempts to place reckless new restrictions on the state’s business community," Mehan said in the statement. "Employers have long had the ability to mandate vaccinations and the Missouri Chamber believes all employers should continue to have this right when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Several businesses in Kansas City, Missouri, are mandating customers be vaccinated in order to patronize the business. Brattin said his focus is on the relationship between employers and employees.

"As a patron, I mean if you see that sign out there, you have the ability to go across the street or whatnot, or at least as of right now you do," he said. "But if you're say, the medical industry and it's industry wide where they're mandating all employees to receive this, you don't have that capability, you know, and what are you supposed to do? I mean, just give up your entire livelihood?"

The lawmaker said he is not vaccinated and if a special session is not held, he'll introduce his own legislation when lawmakers meet for the regular session.