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Lawmakers, officials react to Supreme Court ruling

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 4:40 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2022 at 6:30 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Both Arkansas state and federal officials reacted positively to a United States Supreme Court ruling Thursday dealing with rules on employees and the COVID-19 vaccine.

In an opinion, the Supreme Court ruled against the Biden administration on the vaccine rule issue. The rule would have required employees at businesses with more than 100 employees to get a vaccine or test regularly and wear a mask on the job, the Associated Press reported.

Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) said the ruling was an important win for business.

Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) also released a statement Thursday about the ruling.

“Today is a win not just for the thousands of Americans who would’ve been thrown out of work, but for the businesses who were set to lose a large portion of their workforce at a time where they are already struggling to fill positions. However, the work is far from over. The Court’s second decision today will mean more chaos for rural healthcare systems that already are facing small staff and limited resources,” Crawford said.

In his statement, Crawford said he also supported several legal and legislative efforts on the issue, including a friend of the court brief saying Congress did not OSHA the authority to issue the mandate.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said on social media she believes the mandate was an overreach.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he was thankful for the court’s ruling, will work to continue encouraging people to get vaccinations and support “the right of employers to make their own decisions about their workforce when it comes to the safety of workers.”

However, justices voted 5-4 to go ahead with the mandate on health care workers.

Region 8 News will update this story as events develop.

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