By Brianna Lyman
A Democratic state senator from Rhode Island is urging the state to pass his COVID-19 vaccine mandate that would double income taxes for those who don’t comply with the mandate.
Sen. Sam Bell, citing a poll showing Rhode Islanders “still strongly support a universal vaccine mandate,” said “it’s time for us to pass my mandate bill. Cases are rising again. Surrender isn’t working.”
With @DanMcGowan reporting that Rhode Islanders still strongly support a universal vaccine mandate, despite the McKee Administration pushing hard for the surrender policy, it’s time for us to pass my mandate bill. Cases are rising again. Surrender isn’t working. pic.twitter.com/hxXkgF8bcG
— Sam Bell (@SamuelWBell) April 18, 2022
The bill, introduced in March, would mandate everyone 16 and older who is eligible for the vaccine and lives in, works in or pays personal income taxes to the state get the jab. Those under 16 or “under guardianship shall be required to be immunized against COVID-19, with the responsibility for ensuring compliance falling on all parents or guardians with medical consent powers.”
For individuals who fail to comply with the mandate, the legislation proposed a “monthly civil penalty of fifty dollars” and violators “shall owe twice the amount of personal income taxes as would otherwise be assessed.”
Employers who do not require proof of vaccination would be subject to monthly $5,000 fines for every violation. (RELATED: Vaccines, Masks, Staying At Home Did Not Make A Major Difference In COVID Case Rates, NYT Writer Says)
Two senators who signed onto the bill have since removed their names, NBC 10 News reported. Locals aren’t too happy with the proposal either, with Dhimitris Lusiano telling the outlet he “can’t advise anybody because everybody is different” and that he doesn’t agree with the bill.
Republican State Sen. Jessica de la Cruz said it was “amazing” that a senator would even propose legislation like this in an exclusive statement to the Daily Caller.
“I’ve been against any of the mandates, if anyone looks through my social media I was quite the prolific poster. I’m not anti-vaccine, I’m anti-coercion. It’s amazing that a state senator from Rhode Island, a state that was founded on personal and religious liberty, would impose a special tax on people for exercising their religious or conscientious belief, especially at a time when families are experiencing inflation and rising prices.”
De la Cruz said many of her constituents have raised the alarm over the legislation but that the bill has “little chance” of passing.
The Daily Caller has reached out to Bell but did not receive a response at the time of publication.