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Government & Politics
WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Sticking Points Remain In Bill Banning Employers, Schools From Requiring Vaccines

Dan Konik
/
Statehouse News Bureau

The controversial bill (HB 248) in the Ohio House that would ban businesses and schools from requiring vaccines was thought to be ready for a possible vote in committee. Instead, it’s been put on hold while lawmakers make some changes.

 

Business groups that often back Republicans have come out against the bill. So has former GOP lawmaker Ross McGregor, testifying against it on behalf of the Ohio Manufacturers Association. He says business owners like him need to be able to require vaccines to protect their employees and customers. “This employee can decide ‘I would rather work here than there.' It is their choice. But inside the four walls of my factory, I believe I have the right to require a vaccinated employee if I so choose," McGregor says.

 

McGregor says if many employees become ill at the same time, it can cost businesses a lot of money and even cause supply chain disruptions. For example, he says there was a meat shortage last year after a COVID-19 outbreak at a major meat processing company.

 

The bill also requires schools to tell parents vaccines are not mandatory. Bill sponsor Jennifer Gross (R-Westchester) says the legislation allows schools to continue to require students to get vaccines for childhood illnesses but she says those schools must let the parents know there are religious and medical exceptions available if they choose not to vaccinate their children.

 

The chair of the Ohio House Committee says there are not enough votes to pass the bill right now. He says it will likely be changed before it comes up for a vote.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.