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Lawmakers halt bill to stop employer-mandated vaccines

February 3, 2021 GMT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana lawmakers are pulling the plug on a bill that would prohibit employers from requiring workers from getting immunizations against COVID-19 or any other disease.

The measure, introduced by Republican Sen. Dennis Kruse, would have allowed employees to decline vaccinations for medical, religious or reasons of personal “conscience.” They would also be allowed to sue an employer that required immunizations as a condition of employment.

Republican Sen. Phil Boots, who chairs the Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor, said Wednesday there would be no additional hearings or committee votes on the bill.

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“There was simply not enough support for the bill to move forward in the legislative process,” Boots said in a statement Wednesday. “Many of my colleagues felt that federal exemptions are adequate protections already existing and that the bill went too far in the potential employer penalties.”

Those backing the bill said it’s necessary to protect personal freedom, and that Hoosiers should be able to decide for themselves whether to get any vaccinations.

Several dozen supporters rallied for the bill at the Statehouse Wednesday morning. Many did not wear masks.