Kingsport state representative proposes bill that would prohibit forcing of COVID-19 vaccine

Local Coronavirus Coverage

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – A Northeast Tennessee lawmaker has proposed a bill to prohibit any agency, executive or government from forcing anyone to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

House Bill 13 was proposed by State Representative Bud Hulsey (R) of Kingsport.

The bill was filed for introduction on Monday, November 30.

As it reads, the proposed bill would prohibit, “a law enforcement agency or governmental entity of this state or a local government, or the governor or chief executive of a local government” from forcing the vaccine on any individual.

The proposed bill says those entities will “not force, require, or coerce a person to receive an immunization or vaccination for COVID-19 against the person’s will.”

Representative Hulsey told News Channel 11 that he did not propose the bill to oppose a vaccine, just the forcing of it on anyone.

“I’ve had folks who don’t know enough about the vaccine and what’s in it worry about taking it,” Hulsey said. “They don’t want to be forced by an agency to take it.”

Hulsey, a retired police lieutenant, said his primary concern was making sure a COVID-19 vaccine was not forced on anyone by a law enforcement agency. He says that is why law enforcement is the first type of organization named in House Bill 13.

“If you use police power to enforce taking anything, that’s a form of fascism,” Hulsey said.

Hulsey told News Channel 11 that he does not anticipate any problems with the House passing the bill or expect any backlash from fellow lawmakers.

The proposed bill will be assigned to a committee during the next session.

Hulsey said that while he has not spoken to any state senators about the proposed bill, he has received some support from other state representatives.

You can read the full proposed bill below:

State Senator Mark Pody (R) of Lebanon and State Representative Jay D. Reedy (R) of Erin also proposed joint bills to protect any individual’s right to refuse a vaccine or treatment “on religious grounds or by right of conscience.”

Those bills were introduced in mid-November. You can click here to see both bills.

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