How Ohio lawmakers have proposed fighting COVID-19 mandates

Ohio lawmakers have introduced a bevy of bills to block requirements for vaccines and other COVID-19 mitigation measures. A plane pulling a sign that reads "Stop the mandates vote yes on HB 248" flies over the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio on August 24, 2021.

With state lawmakers back from hiatus, Republicans are going full steam against measures implemented to combat COVID-19. 

Lawmakers have rolled out a string of bills combating COVID-19 mandates of all types and for different groups. More could come.

"We're just responding to the Ohioans we hear speaking to us," said Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp, R-Lima, to reporters last week.

Most of the legislation faces the tough task of garnering support from veto-proof majorities, or three-fifths of all members, as Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has said he opposes blocking mask mandates or preventing businesses from putting in requirements. 

Additionally, the influential Ohio Chamber of Commerce has opposed any legislation telling private businesses what they must or cannot require. Cities have also argued their mandates are protected under the state constitution’s “Home Rule,” which gives them ultimate say over local self-government.

Here are the bills that have been introduced.

Anti-vaccine mandates

House Bill 248

Sponsor: Rep. Jennifer Gross, R-West Chester

What the bill would do:House Bill 248 prohibitsvirtually everybody from requiring a vaccine, even employers such as hospitals, and forbids "discriminatory treatment" based on vaccination status. It also requires schools with immunization requirements to notify parents that children can be exempted from vaccines.

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