A new law that would have mandated all private and public employers in California to require that their employees provide proof of vaccination or submit to a weekly COVID-19 test will not go into effect in 2021.
Even as late as last week, officials were working on a far more stringent version of the bill that would also require proof of vaccine in order to enter restaurants, gyms, bars, theatres and other public places.
However, lawmakers working on the bill, including Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks of Oakland, CA, announced that they will hold Assembly Bill 455 until 2022 so that the strongest bill possible can be developed. Wicks expressed concern about the limited amount of time left in the legislative session and about the bill being bogged down over the issue of testing costs.
“Every day, thousands of Californians are newly affected by this virus — and we have a collective responsibility to do all we can to protect each and every one of them,” Wicks said in a statement. “We’ve made significant progress over the past couple weeks, and I’m hopeful that this conversation will ultimately lead to an increase in vaccination rates, and a decrease in COVID deaths and ICU stays. … I’m committed to working with my colleagues and key stakeholders to make this the strongest bill possible headed into 2022.”