Ohio GOP Leadership’s Anti-Vaccine Mandate Bill on Hold Again

Another attempt to bring a comprehensive bill on COVID-19 vaccination mandate rules to the Ohio Statehouse floor for a vote failed Wednesday, after Rules & Reference Committee members – and the House Republican Caucus – couldn’t reach agreement on changes in time for the scheduled House session. House Republican leadership framed HB 435, dubbed the “Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Fairness Act,” as a comprehensive replacement for several competing bills on requirements related to COVID-19. The bill’s main sponsors are Reps. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, and Rick Carfagna, R-Genoa Twp. Business and public health leaders said it would undermine employers’ ability to manage their workplaces and efforts to stop the pandemic. The bill would limit the ability of businesses to require COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment. To be exempt, the proposed bill allows employees to show proof of antibodies, show potential risk of medical reaction or say they don’t want it for reasons of conscience.