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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Ohio’s latest Republican vaccine bill may be dead

Posted by Andrew Welsh-Huggins.

COLUMBUS, OH (AP) – A GOP bill limiting the ability of businesses to require the coronavirus vaccine as a condition of employment faced another hurdle on Wednesday, indicating the measure is unlikely to be passed in its current form.

Under the law, employees who can show evidence of antibodies to COVID-19 proving that they are at risk of an adverse medical reaction, or those who do not want the vaccine for reasons of conscience, including religious beliefs, will be exempted from employer requirements … …

Although the bill is much softer than the previous measure, which banned the introduction of all vaccines, including for diseases such as the flu, all major business and healthcare groups opposed the law.

And while there was a plan to push the new version to the House of Representatives for a full vote on Wednesday, it evaporated after Speaker Bob Kapp said there was still no agreement with the majority among Republicans about approving the measure.

“Just as there are very different views on this issue among the residents of Ohio, it is not surprising that there are different views among their legislators,” – the Republican from Lima Kapp said in a statement. This was the second time in two weeks that Kupp had stopped action on a bill.

Senate President Matt Huffman, a Republican from Lima, has already expressed his opposition to any bill regulating the way private businesses run their companies, further calling into question the future of the law.

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The bill is one of several anti-mandate measures being considered by legislatures across the country. GOP Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday issued an executive order prohibiting any entity, including private business, from applying the COVID-19 vaccination requirement to workers.

Ohio law exemptions will also be available to employees and students of Ohio public and private schools, colleges and universities. Governments will be prohibited from requiring proof of vaccination to enter local or state public facilities, including government-funded sports stadiums.

The proposed amendment to the bill on Wednesday will end or “repeal” these exceptions by September 30, 2025, said Rep. Rick Carthage, a Delaware Republican and co-sponsor of the bill.

“I think this is the most reasonable balance between respecting someone’s personal freedom of health while allowing the employer and the school to ensure public safety and public health,” Carfanha said Wednesday, minutes before Kupp canceled the account.

Legislation does not prohibit private businesses from requiring proof of vaccination. In addition, employees of children’s hospitals and employees working in hospital intensive care or intensive care units will not be eligible for an exemption from vaccination.

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Stay tuned for AP posts on the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.

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