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Government/Politics

Committee will hear up to 14 hours of testimony on vaccine exemptions

Bill Seitz committee.jpg
Andy Chow
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) testifies as a sponsor of HB435 which creates exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Republican leaders say they want to see movement on this issue soon.

Ohio lawmakers are preparing for two days of testimony on a bill, HB435, that creates exemptions in state law for people who don’t want to comply with COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

The bill would allow students and employees in the public and private sector to claim COVID-19 vaccine mandate exemptions, including "reasons of conscience."

Business groups and health care organizations say the bill goes too far and anti-vaccine mandate groups say it doesn't go far enough.

Rep. Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Twp.) says this makes it hard to reach a deal in his caucus.

"It's very diverse we have a spectrum of personalities in legislators across the state that are hearing very different things depending on their districts and what we want to do is make sure we have a bill that has as much consensus as possible," says Carfagna.

The bill will be in the House Labor and Commerce Committee from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.

The exemptions bill is just the latest measure from the Ohio House to address vaccine mandates. Other proposals range from a bill to ban all mandatory vaccines to one that only prohibits required COVID-19 shots in the public sector.