With personal freedoms and rights comes responsibility and with disagreements comes better understanding. Even people with very similar views won’t always agree. Such was the case this week on one vote-HB 415.
There is a saying that says something like-your freedom to swing you fist ends at another persons nose. I agree that freedom of choice is a very important part of being a citizen of this wonderful country and it is something I will defend but not at the loss of another’s rights.
HB 415, on its surface was a bill that granted everyone the right to choose to get a vaccine or not and making it such that the governing bodies of this country could not require a citizen carry a card listing their vaccination status. That is something I agree with but there is that pesky nose thing I mentioned above.
The question is made much more difficult when you ask, ”Are my rights more important than others rights?” Why would I ask that? An unintended consequence not so readily apparent in HB 415 is , could my decision not to get vaccinated for a highly contagious disease, like hepatitis or influenza, cause harm to another, like someone in the hospital or nursing home.
I am far from an expert on medical affairs so I have to rely on professionals that are and the concern they passed on to me is that very thing. I know many think this bill is just about COVID-19, and that is a factor, but so are other diseases. Where would we be in this country without polio or several other vaccines?
So, I ask you to consider two questions. Do you want the legislature to hamstring the very medical facilities we depend on to keep us healthy? Are vaccines, and other proactive measures just to protect the recipients or is the health of others a factor as well?
I know there are those who strongly believe my vote on 415 was wrong and they are entitled to their opinion, hopefully based on fact and not just emotion. Many of us in the Legislature believe equally as strongly that we vote based on facts as presented to us by the best resources we have at hand. To me on 415 the best resources are the professionals who manage and run our hospitals and nursing homes. The front line servants if you will.
On another note, I had five bills pass out of the House or Senate committees this week. Finally the logjam we have been experiencing broke loose and just in time. Transmittal day is Wednesday. That is the day when all general-basically bills without appropriations or taxes in them-have to be sent to the other house. As a result of that fact, we have a full two days of just hearing and voting on bills in the House. 35 bills on Monday morning and 35 more Monday afternoon. Tuesday is still to be decided but it will be a long day as well.
I want to thank those from HD38 that have reached out to me with their opinions, both pro and con, on bills. Believe me, we get both, especially on contentious bills. Divergence of opinions makes our country stronger when a robust discussion can be had.