The following letter was written by state Rep. Vicki Strong, R-Albany, to the House Rules Committee concerning the proposed vaccine mandate for lawmakers entering the Capitol Complex.
Dear members of the Rules Committee:
I was very surprised to hear that you are meeting today, just days before the Christmas holiday, when it is hard for the public and for other legislators to be involved in the discussion around the protocols for the upcoming session. This makes it difficult for many to have a voice in that discussion, and I would have liked to be there in person with you today, but am unable to attend.
While many other State Houses across the country are meeting openly, without restrictions that are discriminatory, and while Vermont is one of the most highly vaccinated states in the country, I find the push for excessive protocols unnecessary. Please allow all who enter our beautiful State House the freedom to follow their own personal beliefs, and don’t “mandate” vaccine passports, PCR testing, and mask wearing. Having to use religious and medical exemptions is also a violation of personal privacy and constitutional rights.
As an American, Vermonter, and person of faith in Christ, these unnecessary protocols are against my personal beliefs, and are against the freedoms given to me in the Constitution of the Untied States. For those reasons, and for many other personal beliefs about the efficacy of these restrictive and discriminatory protocols, I will not be complying. My objections reflect the voices of thousands of Vermonters who are not able to be there in person today, and who don’t want to have their medical decisions dictated to them while visiting the People’s House.