South Dakota House rewrites Noem’s vaccine exemption bill


PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota House Republicans have passed a completely rewritten version of a bill from Gov. Kristi Noem to allow employees to gain exemptions from their employer’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

It sets up a statehouse clash over the proposal. House lawmakers rewrote Noem’s bill to allow employees to cite any objection of their conscience.

Noem’s initial bill has passed the Senate. It would allow employees to avoid mandates by citing either a medical exemption, religious grounds for refusal or a test showing antibodies against COVID-19 in the last six months.

Both the House and Senate would have to find agreement on a proposal if a state exemption law is to be enacted.