Sen. Mike Cierpiot’s Capitol Report for Sept. 15, 2021

Sen. Mike Cierpiot’s Capitol Report for Sept. 15, 2021

Protecting Your Personal Liberty

On Sept. 9, the president made an announcement that businesses with at least 100 employees must require their workers to be vaccinated or face weekly testing for COVID-19. I, like many of you, were shocked and disappointed by this decision.

Throughout the pandemic, I have opposed heavy-handed, one-size-fits-all policies, whether they’re regarding masks or vaccinations. And with the current administration expecting the new mandate to impact more than 80 million workers across the country, I’d say this mandate is both heavy-handed and one-size-fits-all. More to the point, it runs counter to the idea of free enterprise in our country and represents a federal overreach into a deeply personal decision on whether or not to get vaccinated. Frankly, this mandate is not welcome in Missouri.

Almost as soon as this new mandate was announced, state leaders began thinking about how to protect Missourians and Missouri businesses from federal overreach. Some have urged the governor to call an extra session to allow the Legislature to address the situation. Others, such as the attorney general, have vowed to pursue legal remedies to this mandate. With us still being in the immediate aftermath of the mandate’s announcement, I am in support of the latter option.

Right now, I believe it is too early for the Legislature to take action. I am sure the president’s mandate will be challenged in court, and so, before the Legislature launches into an extra session (at taxpayers’ expense, I might add), I believe the courts will weigh in on this issue. Perhaps a legislative fix will be needed. Once the actual rule is issued, the Legislature will be in a far better position to act, if need be. If we act too soon, I worry we may be putting the cart before the horse, and further complicating the problem. Federal guidance will also need to be issued regarding the mandate, and once it is published, we will have a better understanding of our path forward.

Rest assured, I stand firmly against mandates, like the one put out by the White House, which threaten businesses and their employees all across the state. Know when the time comes my colleagues and I will do everything we can to protect Missourians’ personal liberty from federal overreach.

I am honored to serve the citizens of the 8th Senatorial District. If there is anything I can do to serve you, please feel free to contact my office in Jefferson City at (573) 751-1464. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation for the 2021 session, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Cierpiot.

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