State Senator Lois Kolkhorst speaks on Senate Bill 968 on the Senate floor.
(courtesy Office of Lois Kolkhorst)

Governor Greg Abbott on Monday signed a law that prohibits businesses operating in Texas from requiring customers to show proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status.

Senate Bill 968, authored by State Senator Lois Kolkhorst, bans the use of so-called “vaccine passports” and prevents businesses from asking for customers to show their vaccine cards in order to receive services.  The new law goes into effect immediately.

In a tweet on Monday, Abbott said “Texas is open 100 percent without any restrictions or limitations or requirements.”

In early April, Abbott issued an executive order prohibiting state agencies and public-funded organizations from requiring consumers to show their vaccination status.

According to Kolkhorst, Senate Bill 968 also requires the Texas Division of Emergency Management to ensure adequate stockpiles of American-made personal protective equipment (PPE), establishes legislative oversight during a public health disaster, protects access to elective medical procedures, and establishes the Office of the Chief State Epidemiologist.

Kolkhorst called this legislation “a great example of striking a balance between our public health priorities, civil liberties, and economic freedoms.”

What’s your Reaction?


  1. You glean so much from comments sometimes. It almost makes them worth it.
    Liberals/progressives seem to mistake conservatives for being pro globalization or pro global capitalism but that’s really a neo-liberal approach to the economy.

    What they have to understand is that most conservatives they see and know would much prefer everything be made in America, as it was before. Imported raw material, you could probably count those imports on one hand as far what we need to make 100% of what we consume with quality jobs for nearly all citizens as long as we don’t start importing labor. This would be bad news for all the CEOs and stockholders. But if they are moral, they would agree that its good for America and our essential middle class growth. No such thing as a “just business” approach. Stunted thinking like that gets you a potters field in a potters town.

    The US is unique in that its capable of self sufficiency. Conservatives want this despite how much it would drive the price up on cheap goods. We used to buy something that lasts or make do with what you had or form relationships and protect them enough to borrow tools to make things. Another funny thing is that these practices, the first hand accountability we had for misuse of labor (unlike Chinese labor camps), consumer protections (such as this legislation), safety protocols (unlike “emergency” “vaccine” while downplaying real natural COVID immunity), and environment (direct use of innovative emission reductions) were much more pro equality and carbon neutral than anything the liberal progressive – globalization left has been able to manage or hope to one day produce.

    This is great news!

  2. Is there businesses that wanted this or were in favor of it? If so I’d like to know so I never have to go there

  3. So if the governor […]”issued an executive order prohibiting state agencies and public-funded organizations from requiring consumers to show their vaccination status”, then why do school districts still require immunization records for incoming students?
    It would certainly seem by definition that a local school district is a ‘public-funded organization’, and, because of transfer allowances, parents and students are ‘consumers’ in that they can choose which district to attend.
    The earlier order [did] not “limit the ability of nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities or long-term care facilities to require documentation of a resident’s vaccination status.” I don’t see public schools included in that list.

    1. You can go to public school and not have a vaccine, any vaccine. Its a waiver.

  4. I’m really glad to see this happen. Thank you for your continued commitment to conservative values. Texas appears to remain land of the free at least while she is protecting us.

    1. Please explain how the government dictating what a business can do in regards to their own customers and employees a conservative value. As I stated before, a decade ago it was a “Conservative value” to be against the government requiring a business to provide health insurance. Do conservative values change with the weather or what ever culture war we are involved in?

      I am really curious about how conservatives have become the party of big government because that is what the senator is engaging in.

      1. So “my body, my choice” only applies to killing the unborn, I guess. Also, you’re calling for businesses to openly discriminate against people based on an experimental mRNA injection with unknown long term side effects. Black Americans, such as myself, have issues trusting the government when it comes to anything. Tuskegee experiment ring a bell?? Also, conservatives are the only ones I see standing up to this tyranny in training. There are many reasons not to get the injection. If you’ve already had covid, you’re fine. What about religious beliefs, health problems and so on? All of us should just be discriminated even more against, right? Any business that requires anything pertaining to a person’s health to enter its doors will face lawsuit after lawsuit. You gonna deny those with HIV as well? What about pregnant women? Where does it end?

        1. Stop making incorrect comparisons! If do not want the shot that is your business! Private business can refuse anybody service! No shoe no shirt no service! Hmm! Stay away from politics!

          1. @ Angelia – Businesses can do that? They can refuse service? Nothing political? Ok, well please go and tell all of the LGBTQ community to quit suing people over wedding cakes. I mean, the business has a right, correct? Courts don’t seem to think so. It’s called DISCRIMINATION! No shirt, no shoes? A little different from asking about medical records.

  5. I thought the governor was conservative and pro-business. I guess not. Government just put more limitations on businesses. Let the free market decide what a business can require. Let consumers vote with their $$.

    1. Limitations???
      “Papers please!!” What does that sound like?
      It’s no one’s business who’s been a guinea pig or not.
      There are HIPAA laws.
      The senator did the right thing!

      1. Yes. If this was allowed, where would it stop? Once you lose a freedom or a right , it is very hard, if not impossible to get it back. My medical records are mine. They are private. This whole last year and a half has been such an over reaction and overreach by the Government in general. It was, and is very concerning.

  6. I remember five minutes ago when conservatives would have bristled at the idea of the government telling private businesses what they could or could not do in regards to everyday operations, like ensuring the safety and confidence of their employees and patrons.

    Remember the debate over the government requiring that businesses provide insurance or plans that covered certain things like birth control? I do even if most conservatives have laid down their principles at the alter of authoritarianism.

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