Vaccine mandates among bills proposed for special session

November 2, 2021 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Many of the more than two dozen bill drafts submitted by North Dakota lawmakers for consideration in their upcoming special session attempt to restrict vaccination requirements and the teaching of critical race theory in public schools.

The Legislature is set to meet in Bismarck starting Nov. 8 for a tightly packed special session with specific emphasis on redrawing legislative districts and allocating federal coronavirus relief funds.

But 26 mostly unrelated bill drafts filed by lawmakers can still become law if they make it through a Republican-controlled vetting process at the beginning of the session and subsequent floor votes. GOP leaders tell the Bismarck Tribune they expect one or two proposals on vaccine mandates and critical race theory to move forward.


Seven Republican-sponsored bill drafts take several different angles at the common goal of curbing vaccine mandates imposed on North Dakotans.

Five proposals aim to prohibit employers from mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for their workers or outline broad exemptions employees could claim if compelled to get the shot.

Several of the proposals filed by North Dakota lawmakers are in response to national debates over critical race theory and teachings on race and gender in public schools.