Home>Articles>Sisolak Encourages Board of Health to Ignore Legislative Committee and Uphold Vaccine Mandates for College Students

Governor Steve Sisolak speaking at the Clark County Democratic Party's 2020 ‘Kick Off to Caucus’ Gala at the Tropicana Las Vegas, February 15, 2020. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Sisolak Encourages Board of Health to Ignore Legislative Committee and Uphold Vaccine Mandates for College Students

UNR faculty member: ‘This is such a power grab’

By Megan Barth, December 31, 2021 11:26 am

In a tweet, Governor Sisolak encouraged the Nevada Board of Health to ignore the votes of the Nevada Legislative Select Interim Committee, which held a vote to extend vaccine mandates for state employees and all university students and staff. The mandate was issued for 120 days by the Nevada Board of Health and expired on December 18, 2021. The final vote was split 6-6 with all six Democrats against ending the mandate and all six Republicans favoring ending. The tie vote allowed the mandate to expire.

Republican member of the Select Interim Committee, Sen. Scott Hammond, commented:

“Vaccine mandates are bad public policy. Give people the information and let them decide for themselves.”

NHSE Chancellor Melody Rose issued the following statement after the split vote:

“Following the direction of the Legislative Commission, any student registration hold based on not having a COVID-19 vaccine must be lifted immediately.”

In an email obtained by The Globe, Amy Pason (pronouns: she/her), Chair of the NSHE at UNR,  encouraged support of the mandate.

Pason also took to Twitter to defy the legislative ruling in support of forced vaccination for students:

The Board of Regents met last night to reconsider a separate vaccine mandate for Nevada’s college employees.  As reported by KSNV:

“According to the agenda, regents will consider an emergency amendment to the rule, which requires employees to get vaccinated by Dec. 31 or face termination.

Exceptions are available based on a medical condition or religious belief.

Regents could choose to allow the existing mandate to remain in place, delay the termination date to Jan. 15, or repeal the rule altogether.

The board approved the rule on a temporary 120-day basis back in September and later made it permanent during a two-day meeting earlier this month.”

The Globe spoke to a faculty member at UNR who expressed their disbelief and concern: “Now the Covid task force is pushing NHSE to require students to be vaccinated when five months ago they said they weren’t able to do that legally. It’s getting too crazy. There are calls for a remote start next semester so we can ‘safely teach.’ 80% of new cases occur in the vaccinated population. This is such a power grab.”

Many Nevada constituents, like our source, are asking:  If a bureaucracy can ignore the votes of elected legislators, what other votes/laws can they ignore?  Why even bother having a legislative body if the Governor can circumvent their votes and issue mandates under a never-ending emergency powers directive?

The Globe will be providing an update to the Board of Regents meeting in a forthcoming article.

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