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Gov. Baker stood up to vax mandates for state employees until he didn’t.

CONTACT: Evan Lips, communications director
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WOBURN — Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons on Monday denounced the state employee vaccine mandate imposed by Gov. Charlie Baker, noting that the Swampscott Republican effectively waffled after insisting, “I’m not going to play that game” regarding “the idea that I would kick somebody out of a job.”

Lyons pointed out that this is exactly the game Gov. Baker is now playing with thousands of state workers, as one of the strictest vaccine mandates in the nation and its accompanying punishments goes into effect.

“These are the same employees who risked their lives performing essential duties such as policing and working corrections jobs when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its absolute peak,” Lyons said. “These workers showed up and dutifully performed their jobs despite the threat, only to be rewarded with an authoritarian ultimatum from Gov. Baker: submit to the vaccine, or you’re fired.”

Lyons’s comments came after the Baker administration’s state employee vaccine deadline mandate landed on Sunday.

According to the Boston Herald, about 5,000 state workers are now at risk of suspension or termination as a result of the Baker administration’s mandate.