CHLP Signs Letter to Gov. Hochul Advocating for Veto of New York Vaccine Card Crime Bill
CHLP joined a group of civil rights, health care, and privacy advocates, public defenders and health care providers in a letter urging New York State Governor Kathy Hochul to veto S.4516-C/A.7536-B. The legislation would make falsifying a vaccine card a class A misdemeanor and would create a new E felony for intentional alteration or destruction of "computer material" regarding COVID-19 vaccine provision. The letter argues that the bill will not help stem the spread of COVID-19, but rather marginalize communities bearing the brunt of the pandemic. The bill does not focus on vaccine access, awareness and education but rather criminalizes behaviors caused by that very lack of access, awareness and education will only penalize Black, Latinx, brown, immigrant and low-income communities that have already paid a high price in working through the pandemic. The focus should be on working to create public health solutions to encourage vaccination and not over-policing and over-criminalizing those without access.