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DeWine says he'll "absolutely" veto bill that would ban businesses from requiring COVID vaccines

 Gov. Mike DeWine in a year-end interview with Karen Kasler on December 14, 2021.
Daniel Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
Gov. Mike DeWine in a year-end interview with Karen Kasler on December 14, 2021.

The Senate is considering a Republican-backed bill that would ban public and private businesses and schools from setting up their own COVID vaccine requirements, or requiring proof of vaccination.

The bill came up suddenly after Republican Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) has said he wanted to "move on" from vaccine bills, and has strong business and health group opposition. And Gov. Mike DeWine has some thoughts on it too.

In a year-end interview with the Statehouse News Bureau for "The State of Ohio", DeWine didn’t hesitate when asked if he’d veto the bill, which would prohibit public and private entities from requiring vaccines that don't have full FDA approval - which is targeted at two of the three COVID vaccines in use in the U.S.

“Oh, absolutely. I've made it very clear I don't hesitate to veto things when I think they're wrong. I have respect for the Legislature, but my I also have a job and that job is to veto things that that are bad," DeWine said.

DeWine said government shouldn’t tell businesses how to run their operations, and that he’s also opposed the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-test mandate on employers of over 100 workers that’s now in the courts. Ohio is among the states suing over that rule, and also a rule on federal contractors and on a requirement by Medicaid and Medicare for health care workers.

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) has publicly agreed with DeWine’s position.

The bill passed the House last month 58-32 with only Republican support. That's not a veto-proof majority.

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

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.