COLUMBUS (WCMH) – While passing the $78 billion budget Monday night, lawmakers also passed other bills before leaving for summer break.
One of them, House Bill 244, is being called by some a danger to public health.
The bill originally dealt with military families and children, but was amended to include a ban on universities and colleges requiring the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The simple fact is that decision needs to be decided by their parents and by their family,” said Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima).
Right now in Ohio, a little more than 44 percent of the population has completed their coronavirus vaccination. Dr. Anita Somani said a higher number is needed.
“Herd immunity comes because the majority of people get vaccinated, not because a few get vaccinated,” Somani, a Columbus Ob-Gyn, said.
Huffman argued that young adults aren’t impacted by the virus as severely as others, but Somani said college-age students are still at risk.
“When you think about college-age students, people who are on campus, people in close quarters, you’re really living together with essentially a bunch of strangers, so you want to protect those kids,” she said.
When asked about House Bill 244 at a separate bill signing, Governor Mike DeWine declined to comment on if he would veto or sign the bill.
“This is a happy day today, so we’re not going to talk about unhappy things or anything else,” DeWine said.