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State Sen. Stutts on vote against SB9 vaccine exemption bill: ‘There is not really a balance there — The mandate is the problem’

Last week, the Alabama Legislature passed a bill prohibiting companies from firing an employee for refusing to take a COVID-19 vaccination if that employee claimed a medical or religious exemption.

The bill, SB9, passed the Alabama Senate by a 23-2 vote. The two “no” votes were State Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) and State Sen. Larry Stutts (R-Tuscumbia).

During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Stutts explained his opposition to the bill.

The Colbert County lawmaker saw it as difficult to balance the mandate with the legislation and said the mandate was the problem.

“[T]he reason I was a ‘no’ vote is we were trying to strike a balance between the rights of the employee and the rights of the employer, and if you were going to appeal the objection to the vaccine, whose responsibility was it to appeal the objection to the vaccine. The whole problem is there is not really a balance there,” Stutts said. “The mandate is the problem. There are some things you just can’t polish.”

“And to try to fix the mandate, which I think is unconstitutional, and I’m hopeful that the courts are going to rule it is unconstitutional,” he continued. “But the problem is the mandated vaccine. You can’t fix that because that is just a fundamental problem. An employer has a right to hire or fire who they want to hire or fire. And they have a right if they own a private business to set the rules for the employees within that business. And then, the flipside of that is the employee has an inherent right to make their own health care decisions, and they should not be mandated to take the vaccine as a requirement of their employment. There’s really no middle ground there, and I don’t think that the bill really fixed that.”

“I think the courts are going to end up having to overturn the mandate and say this is an intrusion in one’s private rights that cannot be mandated,” Stutts added.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.