State Rep. Mark Huizenga, chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education and Community Colleges, today reiterated his support for the civil liberties of college students facing possible vaccine mandates.
“Students should not be forced to get a vaccine at our public universities and colleges,” said Huizenga, of Walker. “Some universities have also displayed an improper double standard requiring students to be vaccinated but not requiring faculty and staff to follow the same guidelines. My higher education budget plan would address these problems by preventing taxpayer-funded institutions from mandating vaccinations for students to attend class.”
At least three state universities have already established some form of COVID-19 vaccine requirement. Beginning in the fall semester, both the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Oakland University will require all students who live on campus to be vaccinated. The University of Michigan-Dearborn will require weekly testing for all unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff that go on campus.
Huizenga’s House Bill 4400, the House’s higher education spending proposal, would specifically prohibit universities that accept public funding from requiring a COVID-19 vaccination for a student to enroll or attend class in person. HB 4401 would include the same restriction for community colleges.
Both bills were approved by the subcommittee earlier this month and are now under consideration by the full Committee on Appropriations.
Huizenga has been vaccinated against COVID-19 himself and encourages others to make the same choice, but he does not believe citizens should be required to get the vaccines.