MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — South Carolina legislators continue to push for legislation that will block COVID-19 mandates, but one bill would help those who have already been financially impacted by vaccine mandates.
A few South Carolina senators are trying to push a bill that would give people who were fired from their jobs for not obeying a vaccine mandate financial compensation.
If the bill were to pass in the House and Senate, a person in South Carolina who was fired for not receiving a COVID-19 vaccine would be eligible for unemployment benefits.
Sen. Josh Kimbrell, R-Spartanburg County, said that he is not against the vaccine, but is against an employer having control over someone’s body.
“We cannot put people in the street because they don’t want to take the vaccine,” Kimbrell said. “I think this will make employers think twice about forcible vaccine mandates if they know their unemployment insurance will go up as a result.”
He said that private employers will hopefully rethink the mandate if they know that their unemployment insurance will increase.
“What this bill does is put the financial cost of making that decision on the back of the employer,” Kimbrell said.
He said people should have the ability to make the decision if a vaccine is right for them and their family.
Other lawmakers share the same point of view.
Sen. Penry Gustafson, R-Kershaw, said that it is everyone’s Constitutional right whether they want to get the vaccine. Gustafson claimed that there will be a ripple effect in the workforce if the mandates continue.
Gustafson also said that the state doesn’t have to comply with the mandate because of a legal principal called anti-commandeering doctrine, which prohibits the federal government from enforcing targeted, affirmative and coercive duties upon state legislators or executive officials.
“Were one of 22 states that had a federally approved state plan, so we actually do not have any federal inspectors in South Carolina,” she said. “They depend on us to enforce their regulations, so if we choose not to enforce, they cannot keep federal money from us if we don’t comply.”