One Democrat in Rhode Island has pulled out a new bill that would seek to increase all taxes on any residents who have not gone and gotten their vaccinations for COVID-19 to almost doubled the current state income tax.
This new legislation was brought out by Samuel W. Bell, a progressive state Senator, who highlighted ” a crisis with the pandemic” in order to justify this newly proposed overreach. This bill claims that every state resident, beginning at age 16, should be forced to get vaccinated or suffer extreme financial penalties.
“Every person of at least sixteen (16) years of age who is eligible for immunization against COVID-19 and who resides in the State of Rhode Island, works in the State of Rhode Island, or pays personal income taxes to the State of Rhode Island pursuant to chapter 30 of title 44 shall be required to be immunized against COVID-19,” states the new bill.
The senator also made reference to his young child’s lung disease as a way to explain why he brought the bill forth.
“Thousands of Rhode Islanders have died. I’ve had really painful calls from constituents who can’t go to the store because they’re immuno-compromised, who have lost loved ones to this pandemic, who are really ill and not fully recovered, suffering long-term effects,” stated Bell.
This new bill is heavily opposed by Senate Republican minority whip Jessica de la Cruz of North Smithfield. She makes the claim that the bill was an extreme overreach of power.
“I have not, nor will I ever support, legislation that coerces Rhode Islanders into making medical decisions or face steep financial damages,” she claimed. “I hear my constituents and others around the state loud and clear – this is dangerous legislation and sends the message that our government doesn’t trust you to make the right choice for you and your family. This is an unconscionable overreach of legislative powers.”
Along with the new penalty when they file their income taxes, this proposal would mandate that the residents of Rhode island who make the choice not to get vaccinated should pay a stacking fine of up to $50 per month and requires that all residents take “all eligible doses within a multiple-dose immunization series.”
As read from information found in one state vaccination tracker, over 95% of the resident of Rhode Island have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and about 82% of those are “fully vaccinated.”
In reaction to this new bill, Bell claimed he had gotten crude messages from people “divorced from the realities of science” upset with him because of this new bill.