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Day 2 of testimonies begin for Ohio’s vaccine anti-discrimination bill

testimonies continue for House bill 248
testimonies continue for House bill 248(WOIO)
Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 12:33 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Dozens piled into the Ohio Capitol on Tuesday morning with two things on their minds: Vaccines and privacy.

Two weeks ago, testimonies in favor of House Bill 248 took over House discussions; a bill described as a vaccine choice and anti-discrimination act.

“I’m very nervous because I’ve never done this before,” said Erika Smith.

More than 30 Ohioans were set to witness testimonies on Tuesday given to the Ohio House in regards to the bill.

“This was important to me to come today and I might lose my job over it,” explained Smith.

Those for the bill spoke about how the proposal should protect individuals who choose not to be vaccinated from discrimination due to vaccine status, by allowing them to keep their status hidden.

“Government-sanctioned discrimination based on skin color is no different than government-sanctioned discrimination based on vaccine status,” said Smith. “The unvaccinated will become second-class citizens, just like Blacks once were.”

But not everyone shares these views. Some say if the bill passes, it could be harmful, forcing legislators to ask the tough questions.

“So the university, who would think about all their students, knowing that one person not getting it could lead to the death of someone on that floor, doesn’t have the right to ask for vaccination status?,” asked State Rep. Beth Liston.

“According to this bill, that would be correct,” answered Sunil Bhat

Tuesday was day two for the House listening to testimonies.

There are two more steps the proposed bill must go through before landing on the governor’s desk.

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