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New State Law Prohibits COVID Vaccine Mandates

- Employers Face Stiff Penalties

While lawmakers continue to wrangle over funding for public education and potential new alternatives to such, businesses operating in the state of Texas should begin making necessary preparations to comply with a new state law regarding vaccine mandates.

Under SB 7, adopted by Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Legislature in the third special session this year, businesses are prohibited from adopting or enforcing COVID vaccine mandates upon employees or contractors.

The bill, which takes effect Feb. 6, 2024, imposes a $50,000 administrative penalty for each violation. Limited exemptions are provided only to certain health care settings.  


Other Hot-Button Issues Pending

Aside from the public education debates, lawmakers are deliberating a measure that would allow Texas law enforcement officers to expel to Mexico people they believe immigrated here illegally and another that would allocate state dollars to construct barriers along the Mexico border.

The clock runs out on the current special session Dec. 6, and there’s no indication at this time whether the governor will call another one immediately or wait until the New Year – or the 2025 regular session.

Republican opposition in the House to the governor’s public education funding proposal has prompted some public speculation that Abbott may set the next special session for February in the run-up to the March 5 primary election.

This schedule would underscore his public threat to recruit challengers to House Republicans who oppose his plans for public education and possibly keep some incumbents from spending as much time as they’d like on the re-election campaign trail.

It’s also possible the governor will wait until the 2025 regular session which will include a slew of newly elected House members, some of whom may be more supportive of his efforts. 

Questions? Contact TAB’s Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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