SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — State Rep. Adam Niemberg (R-Dieterich) on Tuesday introduced legislation that would prohibit discrimination against those not getting vaccinated against COVID-19 because of religious beliefs.

The COVID-19 Religious Exemption Act would let a person file a lawsuit for up to $2,500. It would also require health care facilities to adopt written care of access to care and “explain how belief-based objections would be addressed in a timely manner.”

Niemberg said the legislation is necessary to curb a government he said is “using the pandemic as an excuse to strip away Americans of their rights.”

“Public health should not be an excuse to take away our freedoms and liberties. We should take steps to promote public health,  but we must do so in the context of our rights as Americans,” he said.

Niemberg acknowledged the bill is likely to fail in the Democratic-controlled Illinois General Assembly.