By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A bill advancing in Mississippi says anyone could cite religious objections to avoid a public or private employer’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate. House Bill 1509 passed the Senate 36-15 Wednesday, with Republicans in favor and most Democrats opposed. One Democrat did not vote. A version of the bill passed the House in January, also mostly along party lines. Because the Senate made changes, the bill will go to final negotiations. The bill says Mississippi government entities could not withhold services or refuse jobs to people who choose not to get COVID-19 vaccinations. Mandates for the vaccine have not been widespread in Mississippi.