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Government/Politics

Huffman views vaccine mandate issues through different silos

Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center was the first facility in Ohio to use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, at a clinic on March 2, 2021.
Logan Wallace
/
Ohio State University

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) says they're approaching the issue with the question of whether or not the government should intervene to say "businesses, you can't do mandates."

A bill to grant broad exemptions to people who don't want to follow a COVID-19 vaccine mandate is pending in the Ohio House. Meanwhile, the top Senate leader suggests there's hesitation to create regulations in the private sector.

Huffman was asked if there's support in his chamber for the House bill, HB435, that allows students and employees in the private and public sectors to claim exemptions to avoid COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Huffman says he looks at the issue with four different silos; public K-12 schools, public universities, other public entities, and private entities.

When it comes to the latter, Huffman says the Republican caucus usually "eschews" telling businesses what to do.

"Much of this, as with most regulation, whether it's health related or others, most of it gets sorted out by the market and it is getting sorted out by the market," says Huffman.

As for public universities mandating the COVID-19 vaccine, Huffman says the Senate is looking at addressing that issue to "disallow it in the future but try to do something in the present."

Huffman says most entities already grant broad exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, but the House bill would create exemptions so broad almost anyone could opt out.