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Government

GOP leaders not sold on total ban of private businesses' COVID-19 vaccine mandates

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Legislative leaders discuss the upcoming 2022 session on a panel organized by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. (Alan Mbathi/IPB News)

Listen to the broadcast version of this story.

Republican legislative leaders don’t sound ready to ban Indiana companies from imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

But the issue isn’t going to be left alone in the 2022 session, either.

Even before the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine rules, many Hoosier companies required their workers to get vaccinated. And that prompted pushback from some in the legislature.

READ MORE: Indiana business groups disagree with federal vaccine mandate

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Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) said lawmakers shouldn’t do anything to stop companies from requiring vaccines.

“Employers have a responsibility not just to their employees but to the entire community, in my mind,” Taylor said.

House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said he personally prefers to let private businesses decide.

“I’d also say employers need to be cautious in how they honor religious exemptions, medical exemptions,” Huston said.

Huston said lawmakers will explore expanding the reasons employees can be exempted from vaccine mandates. Such a bill died last session without a vote.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.
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