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Watered-Down Version Of Bill Banning The Mandate Of Vaccines Is Introduced In Ohio Legislature

 Supporters of a controversial vaccine mandate ban bill rally at Ohio Statehouse
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
Supporters of a controversial vaccine mandate ban bill rally at Ohio Statehouse

The sponsor of a controversial bill that bans all mandatory vaccines (HB 248) is trying to force it to the House floor for a full vote. Rep. Jennifer Gross (R-West Chester) has pulled a discharge petition that would put it on the floor for a full vote in the Ohio House of Representatives. But, so far, she hasn't received enough signatures from lawmakers to do that.

Now there’s a new bill that would ban local and state government entities from requiring employees or students to get COVID vaccines.

Republican Rep. Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) says the bill (which hasn't been assigned a number yet) applies only to local and state government agencies as well as public schools and universities. It also prevents state hospitals from requiring the shots. And it only applies to COVID vaccines.

“I listened to hours and hours of testimony this spring and summer and the one thing that people could agree on is that government should not be mandating a vaccine,” Koehler says.

Koehler’s legislation is meant to appeal to more lawmakers and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. The chamber had testified against the earlier bill. And at that time, it warned lawmakers trying to force a vote on that bill that they could risk losing the chamber’s support.

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

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.