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Reports on Louisiana politics, government and the people shaping state policy

Louisiana House rejects vaccine liability bill following opposition from business lobby

The Louisiana State Capitol on April 4, 2023, in Baton Rouge, La.
Stephen Smith
The Louisiana State Capitol on April 4, 2023, in Baton Rouge, La.

Lawmakers in the House rejected a bill this week that would have allowed schools and businesses to be sued for injuries resulting from certain required vaccines.

The bill would have held schools and employers liable for injuries resulting from the COVID-19 vaccine — or other emergency-use vaccines — if that school or employer required the vaccine.

Rep. Mike Echols, a Republican from Monroe, brought the bill. He stands by the policy and said he wants businesses to accept some responsibility when mandating a vaccine.

The bill passed pretty easily through a House committee earlier this week. Then, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry came out against it, saying it was anti-business.

After that, support for the bill weakened. It failed to pass the full House in an extremely narrow vote, just two votes short of approval. The bill could come up again later this session.

Molly Ryan is a political reporter and covers state politics from the Louisiana Capitol.