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Huffman Views Vaccine Mandate Issues Through Different Silos

State Sen. Matt Huffman was elected president of the Ohio Senate for the next session.
Ohio Senate
Ohio Senate

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, Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) 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 said 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 said 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," Huffman said.

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

Huffman said 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.

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.