The Senate voted Tuesday to ban discriminating against someone over whether they’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine and to allow parents to opt out their kids if schools implement a mask requirement.

AB 316 would ban the state and local governments from discriminating against someone based on whether they have received the COVID-19 vaccine or can show proof that they have. It passed on a voice vote.

Meanwhile, AB 912 would ban guvs from declaring some businesses non-essential.

During his stay-at-home orders, Gov. Tony Evers proclaimed some businesses essential, which allowed them to stay open while others that didn’t make the list weren’t.

Sen. Eric Wimberger, R-Green Bay, called it a “draconian order” that closed small retailers while allowing big-box stores to remain open. The bill was approved 20-12.

Along with allowing parents to opt out of face mask requirements at schools, AB 995, would also require school boards to offer a full-time, in-person instruction option to all students enrolled in the district.

Evers ordered schools to close as the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up in March 2020, and some districts chose to remain virtual after his extended stay-at-home order was lifted. It passed 19-11 along party lines.

Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee called the bill anti-science.

The three bills now head to the guv.

The Senate calendar originally included AB 1007, which would allow health care providers to express their professional opinion on treatment options without fear of being disciplined by regulatory bodies.

But the bill was pulled from the calendar without debate.

Backers said the bill was in response to the pushback some health care providers received as they urged their patients to consider alternative treatments for COVID-19 such as taking the human version of ivermectin. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine last month found it is not effective in reducing the risk of developing severe COVID-19.


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