Legislator Circulates HB 248 Anti-Vaccination Discharge Petition

This week, Representative Jennifer Gross (R-West Chester) began circulating a discharge petition for her House Bill 248, which would prevent private companies—including hospitals—from mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for its employees.

The legislation is currently in the House Health Committee, and after a recent marathon committee hearing, Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) announced that he is putting a pause on the legislation after hearing substantial opposition from various industry advocacy groups, including the Ohio Business Roundtable which submitted opponent testimony.

As a result, Rep. Gross is attempting to bypass the committee process and bring the bill up for a floor vote during the next Ohio House session. To do this, it will require 50 signatures from her 98 colleagues to remove the legislation from the committee and force an immediate vote from all House members.

“The Ohio Business Roundtable is hopeful this effort will be unsuccessful and that the input of Ohio citizens, business owners and health care professionals during the HB 248 hearings will not be ignored,” said Pat Tiberi, President and CEO.

Speaker Cupp has issued a memo to his Republican caucus saying that the bill lacks consensus among members and encouraged them not to sign the petition.

Based on conversations that the Ohio Business Roundtable has had with legislators, it appears at this time the discharge petition does not have the support needed to be successful.

Photo credit - Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio (WOSU)

Photo credit - Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio (WOSU)

Alexandra Denney