By Vanessa Serna
SACRAMENTO—A bill that would have required all California workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 has been shelved, a lawmaker announced on March 29.
“Today I’m announcing that I have made a decision to hold AB1993, which would require all California businesses to require their employees and independent contractors to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” state Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) announced on Twitter.
Wicks (D-Oakland) introduced Assembly Bill 1993 on Feb. 10 following the winter COVID-19 Omicron variant surge. However, Wicks on Tuesday afternoon admitted cases of the virus were dwindling for now.
“We introduced AB 1993 because of the workers, employers & public health experts who expressed the need for vaccine requirements, yet felt unable to make these changes on their own,” Wicks wrote.
Wicks confirmed the bill is simply “on pause” as lawmakers attempt to work with employees to address specific concerns about the legislation.
“While I’m disappointed in the opposition to our bill by public safety unions, it’s my hope that they’ll ultimately come to the table to make sure all of their workers are vaccinated,” she wrote.
Those opposed to the legislation introduced by Wicks celebrated the news that it would not be moving forward at this time.
“We’ve defeated AB 1993, the employer vaccine mandate,” state Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) wrote on Twitter following the announcement.
State Sen. Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) also praised the announcement.
“The bill to make the vaccine mandatory for all California employees is DEAD,” Melendez wrote on Twitter. “That’s thanks to all of you who called and wrote to legislators to oppose this unnecessary law.”
It’s uncertain when the legislation will be brought forward again.