Gov. Pete Ricketts has issued an executive order barring state agencies from enforcing coronavirus vaccine mandates, calling the mandate “a stunning violation of personal freedom and abuse of the federal government’s power.”

“While we have encouraged Nebraskans to get vaccinated, this is a personal health decision, and not one that should be coerced,” Ricketts said in announcing the executive order. “We’ve already made the decision that state teammates (employees)… won’t be forced to take the vaccine. This order takes the next step and bars cabinet state agencies from complying with coronavirus vaccine mandates from the federal government or other parties.”

Ricketts said his administration will “continue to use every tool we have in the toolbox to fight back against President Joe Biden’s government overreach, so we can protect the freedom of Nebraskans against big government in Washington, D.C.”

In the executive order, Ricketts noted that more than 73% of Nebraskans who are 12 and older are either fully or partially vaccinated.

The order also says he has “continued to encourage all eligible Nebraskans to get vaccinated against COVID-19” but “recognizes that Nebraskans have individual responsibility and personal freedom over their healthcare decisions and that the decision to receive a COVID-19 vaccination is a personal choice involving medical, religious, and other personal factors.”

The order is aimed at all state agencies over which the executive branch has authority. It is not enforceable for private companies such as Union Pacific.

To see the full executive order, click HERE and HERE.

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