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Ohio House GOP Considering Changes To Vaccine Exemptions Bill

 House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) talks about HB435 following House Rules and Reference Committee.
Andy Chow
Ohio Public Radio
House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) talks about HB435 following House Rules and Reference Committee.

Updated October 13, 2021, at 2:05 PM

The Ohio House could soon be voting on a bill that creates broad exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Whether or not the bill will see big changes through amendments remains up in the air.

The bill was set to be fast-tracked through the Ohio House but was sent back to a committee after criticism by health officials and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. It's not clear if any amendments could be made to the bill or when it could go up for a vote.

The bill allows anyone to opt-out of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate unless they work at a children's hospital or ICU.

House Republicans have struggled to find a consensus on the bill, between members who want it to go further and those who are concerned about business groups opposing more regulations. Minority Democrats are unanimously opposed to the bill.

Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp was asked if amendments would be debated in committee or on the House floor. He answered, "We have not decided that, my preferred process is to do it through committee."

The bill is currently in a committee that rarely holds hearings on bills.

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

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.