A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction effectively blocking implementation of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal government contractors and subcontractors Tuesday in response to a challenge from Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron.
Additionally, the attorney general’s office is taking action against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandate requiring all businesses that have at least 100 employees to require vaccinations or weekly tests for their employees. That mandate is currently under a temporary halt but would go into effect January 4, 2022 and impact around 84 million workers across the nation.
In an interview with The Bottom Line Wednesday, Cameron said he is encouraged by what his office has seen in the federal contractors case and noted Kentucky is one of only three states to have all three federal mandates halted. He emphasized the importance of ensuring these decisions about vaccinations and testing are made at the local level by employers.
“The Commonwealth, our office, will be leading the efforts as it relates to continuing to defend the sovereignty of the state, the ability of employers to make decisions for themselves about vaccinations and vaccine status. That, again, should not be a determination that is made in Washington, D.C. for our employers here in Kentucky,” Cameron said. “I have talked to folks in the business community who have repeatedly told me this could have devastating consequences for not only their business model but also the folks that work for them and rely on that paycheck.”
As for what his office will be focused on in 2022, Cameron stated his legislative priorities will be primarily centered around addressing the state’s opioid epidemic including minor changes to 2021’s House Bill 427 related to the $400 million opioid settlement being distributed to the state and localities and ensuring that system of distribution is used for any further settlement funds the state receives. He also mentioned work they plan to do on Kentucky’s “Casey’s law” to help Kentuckians in vulnerable situations related to substance use disorder.
Watch the full interview with Attorney General Daniel Cameron below: