MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday directed state agencies not to cooperate with the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate, where possible, and instead help with the state’s efforts to file a lawsuit challenging the vaccination requirements.
The directive is part of Republican officials’ efforts to resist the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate, but the impact of the Alabama order is unclear since it can only cover state executive branch agencies.
Ivey signed an executive order forbidding executive branch agencies — which include agencies such as Medicaid, Mental Health and Human Resources — from penalizing employees or businesses for non-compliance with the federal vaccine mandate. If federal law requires the penalty, Ivey directed the state entity to take steps to notify the affected business or individual that Alabama does not condone the penalty.
Gina Maiola, a spokesperson for Ivey, said the governor issued the executive order because some state agencies could potentially fall under the federal vaccine mandate or have enforcement duties. Maiola did not immediately respond to an email seeking examples.
“The federal government’s outrageous overreach has simply given us no other option, but to begin taking action, which is why I am issuing this executive order to fight these egregious COVID-19 vaccine mandates,” Ivey said in a statement.https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-business-education-alabama-health-ae9981614061559de1cb02480e6e605d