Wyoming Joins Third Lawsuit Against Vaccine Requirements as Anti-Mandate Bill Awaits Gordon’s Signature
Announced in a press release, Governor Mark Gordon said that Wyoming is joining another lawsuit to challenge a different federal vaccine mandate.
Wyoming and nine states filed a suit against President Joe Biden Administration’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rule, which seeks to impose a vaccine requirement on healthcare workers.
"Wyoming continues to face a significant shortage of healthcare workers and this federal mandate will only exacerbate our healthcare staffing issues. This administration needs to understand that overreaching policies that force employees to choose between vaccination and termination negatively impact Wyoming communities, rural healthcare, and residents of skilled nursing facilities."
The CMS vaccine mandate is a requirement instituted by the Biden administration requiring around 17 million healthcare workers who work at health care facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid to be vaccinated by Jan. 4 2022.
Unlike the emergency order issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), people are not able to opt out vaccinations with weekly testing, due to there being a higher bar for health care workers.
Wyoming has filed two other lawsuits against the federal government: one on Oct. 29th against vaccine mandates on federal contractors and federally contracted employees and another to on Nov. 5 against OSHA's order requiring vaccines for employees of businesses with over 100 employees.
The latest lawsuit is led by Missouri and Nebraska, and also includes Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and New Hampshire.
At the same time, Gordon has hesitated to sign into law the bill passed by the Wyoming legislature during their special session last week.
The bill, House Bill 1002, would prevent certain federal COVID-19 vaccine requirements from taking effect and allocate $4 million to the state's attorney general office to help filing lawsuits against the federal government as it relates to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Michael Pearlman, communications director for the governor's office, said in an email that the governor has not yet signed the bill because they are still unsure of its legality.
"The governor is still reviewing the bill. We are currently focused on the lawsuits and want to ensure we have a good understanding of how the federal regulations interact with the bill."
If the governor does not sign the bill by Nov. 18, 15 days after the bill passed the legislature, it will become law regardless.