Arizona utility regulators want to fine companies that require COVID-19 vaccines

Commissioner Justin Olson

By Ryan Randazzo |Arizona Republic

Companies with 100 or more workers can allow workers to undergo regular COVID-19 testing rather than receive a vaccine to comply with Biden’s new rules.

Two of Arizona’s utility regulators are proposing to prohibit electric, gas and water companies from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations and fine them $5,000 per violation if they break the rules.

Republican commissioners Justin Olson and Jim O’Connor want a vote on their proposal to rebuke President Joe Biden’s vaccine requirements for employers.

Olson is running for the GOP nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., in next year’s Senate race.

O’Connor previously lobbied utilities privately hoping to encourage them not to vaccinate workers, which he told The Arizona Republic turned people into “potted plants … human vegetables.”

There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccinations have caused the problems O’Connor described.

Olson couched his opposition in legalese rather than direct anti-vaccination sentiment.

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