Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin is expected to face Gov. Brad Little in the 2022 GOP gubernatorial primary.
(LifeSiteNews) — Idaho’s Republican lieutenant governor stepped in to protect children from vaccination mandates by broadening a ban on vaccine passports while the state’s governor, who is a member of the same party, traveled out of state. The governor later reversed the order.
“Today, as Acting Governor, I fixed Gov. Little’s Executive Order on ‘vaccine passports’ to make sure that K-12 schools and universities cannot require vaccinations OR require mandatory testing. I will continue to fight for your individual Liberty!” Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin announced Tuesday.
Idaho law grants some powers to the second-in-command when the governor is out of state. The Idaho constitution says the lieutenant governor can run the state when the governor is absent.
Gov. Brad Little had barred “any State of Idaho governmental entity from requiring so-called ‘vaccine passports’ — or proof of COVID-19 vaccination for citizens to receive public services or access facilities” on April 7.
The order did not explicitly forbid K-12 schools and universities from asking for proof of vaccination. McGeachin’s order extended it to include the state Department of Education and “public schools, college and universities.” She also extended the prohibition to ban COVID testing as a condition of entrance into a government building.
This would have helped some residents who do not want to get jabbed or want to go through the extra steps of getting a negative COVID test simply to enter a taxpayer-funded building.
Boise State University, for example, proposed a policy requiring all football fans to show vaccination proof or a negative test to enter the stadium. It walked back the policy, but will still conduct random testing of some attendees, and there is currently nothing preventing the school from changing its mind again.
Little, upon returning from Texas, reversed McGeachin’s executive order amendment.
“I will be rescinding and reversing any actions taken by the Lt. Governor when I return,” Little had promised on October 5, apparently in reference to the new executive order as well as a controversy over McGeachin asking the state National Guard about deploying to the border in Texas.
This is not the first time the Lt. Governor, who is running for governor in 2022, has stepped in to protect the rights of her constituents. In May, she signed an executive order prohibiting mask mandates while Little left Idaho.
She is expected to face Little in the 2022 GOP primary.