State Senator Thinks Special Session On Vaccine Mandate Is Bad Idea

This story first appeared on Cowboy State Daily

By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Longtime state Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, thinks that next week’s legislative special session regarding vaccine mandates is a bad idea, he told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday.

“I don’t agree with the federal mandates on employers and I want to be clear about that,” Case said. “But I don’t see a legislative path to fix that.”

The Legislature is to begin a three-day special session on Tuesday to formulate the state’s response to President Joe Biden’s mandate that government workers, health care employees and employees at companies employing more than 100 people receive the corronavirus vaccine or be tested regularly for the illness.

Before any work can begin, the rules spelling out how the session will proceed will have to be approved by two-thirds of the legislators.

Thirty-five Wyoming representatives and 17 senators voted in favor of holding a special session, while 12 representatives and seven senators voted against holding one. Case was one of the senators who voted against the session.

The Biden administration has not yet issued the rules that will be required to put the mandate into effect and Case said that is the biggest argument against holding a special session.

“I think we run the risk of putting our Wyoming employers in a squeeze between state and federal policy,” he said.

Case added that the Wyoming Legislature cannot hold a special session every time “a bunch of people get mad at something that happens.” He said many Wyoming voters who have pushed for the special session do not fully understand how the legislative process works.

“I’ve actually had people tell me that we can nullify a federal law, because all we have to do is pass a law that nullifies it,” Case said. “I assure you, we can’t do that.”

Gov. Mark Gordon and Attorney General Bridget Hill are preparing to file a legal challenge on Wyoming’s behalf once the rules are completed, which Case totally supported.

“I think we are in the realm of overreach by the federal government and I think in the end, it is the legal efforts that we join with other states that will be successful, not these special sessions,” he said.

Case’s stance is in opposition to that taken by many of his colleagues.

Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, was one of the senators who voted to hold the session and he announced his position by posting a photo of his ballot to social media, along with a post-it note containing a message to legislative leadership.

“We now need a special session because the Republican establishment killed my bill on the same subject,” Bouchard wrote on the ballot. “Of course I will vote yes on the special session. Don’t Fauci our Wyoming!”

Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, also voted for the session.

“The dates of October 26-28 have also been scheduled for the special session, which would allow us to pass a bill banning mandates before the Banner Health deadline goes into effect,” Gray wrote on social media. “This is great news for our state! We must stop these radical vaccine mandates.”

Banner Health, one of the largest U.S. health system employers, is requiring its employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus by Nov. 1 to keep their jobs. The organization announced this mandate in July.

Banner Health operates multiple health care facilities in Wyoming, including the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper and clinics in Torrington, Wheatland, Guernsey, Douglas, Worland and more.

No other Wyoming-owned hospitals or health care systems in the state have implemented a vaccine mandate, although some, such as Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, have created incentive programs for employees who do get vaccinated.

Banner officials said the company is implementing the requirement for several reasons, including the rise of the Delta variant of coronavirus, the need to protect its patients and workforce and to prepare for flu season.

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9 Comments

  1. In light of recent news that dr. fauci lied to congress, the public, and the media about his involvement with the gain of function research in Wuhan, China, this legislation is needed more than ever. Fauci needs to be sent to prison for lying to congress at the very least. What Banner health is doing to the communities it serves is petty and dangerous as Chicago and other large cities are beginning to find out. How far will people who live in these communities have to go to get medical help when theyre told by these facilities that they cant help them due to staffing shortages? Mr. Case is just another RINO that needs to be retired. If he has never heard of sanctuary cities, a policy that nullifies federal law, he has NO business in the state legislature. Lander can do much better than this career politician.

  2. Though he can surely speak for himself, I think Mr. Case is better referred to as a libertarian in philosophy. Lots of pressure to join the chest thumping band of repubs though. Being called a RINO is just so hurtful and will surely get him to see the light and join the gang!

  3. Fine, allow companies to do this in Wyoming. Just “Mandate” that businesses who force employees to get the coronavirus vaccine as a condition of employment should be held liable for adverse reactions.
    Should sort things out fairly quickly.
    Let’s see how eager everyone is for that.

  4. We’ll, the majority of legislators disagree with Mr. Case, would this news outlet care to interview one of them or are you going to continue hammering on the cost of a legislative session instead?

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