Republicans in the Ohio House pulled a bill aimed at addressing COVID-19 vaccine mandates just before a vote on Wednesday. The bill would have allowed businesses and universities to mandate the vaccine but also expand the exemptions for workers and students to refuse the shot.
The bill had been fast tracked on Tuesday but leaders sent it back to committee after being opposed by business and medical groups. Democrats were not in favor of the bill and some Republicans opposed it as well.
The ongoing debate over vaccines and mandates comes as hospitals in Northeast Ohio are struggling to meet the demand for medical care created by this latest surge.
Booster shot doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Northeast Ohio this week. The Ohio Department of Health released guidance last weekend on who should consider getting the third shot. The guidance says those 65 years and older, residents in long-term care settings, and people age 50 to 64 with certain underlying medical conditions "should" receive the booster.
Incentives remain a priority for getting people to overcome vaccine hesitancy. Last week Governor Mike DeWine announced a "Vax-2-School" incentive offering money for college for Ohioans between the ages of 12 and 25 who get vaccinated.
This week Ohio upped its incentives for state workers-who could earn up to $1,000 for getting vaccinated.
Ohio lawmakers were expected to miss yesterdy's deadline for the redrawing of congressional districts. The state will lose one seat in Congress due to the results of the 2020 Census. This is the second phase in the redistricting process. The first round of maps drawn for Ohio House and Senate districts are being challenged in court. The Ohio Supreme Court will hear arguments in December.
Lordstown Motors, which operates within the former General Motors plant, according to reports, is said to be close to announcing a sale of the factory to Foxconn Technology Group of Taiwan. Foxconn is the world's largest assembler of the Apple Iphone.
The company bought the facility off GM in 2019 to manufacture an electric pick-up truck called Endurance.
California is banning state sponsored travel to Ohio due to a "medical conscience" clause added to the state budget back in June. The measure allows healthcare workers to deny treatments they feel violate their beliefs.
Governor DeWine signed the budget and did not use his line-item veto to strike the measure as some expected him to do.
Marlene Harris-Taylor, Managing Producer for Health, Ideastream Public Media
Gabriel Kramer, Multiple Media Producer, Ideastream Public Media
Andy Chow, Reporter, Statehouse News Bureau, Ohio Public Radio/TV