Columbus state representative co-authors anti-vaccine mandate bill

A Columbus state representative is co-author of a bill to end the statewide public health emergency and to restrict business options to require COVID-19 vaccinations.

Republican State Rep. Ryan Lauer is co-author of House Bill 1001 and was one of the legislators who gathered Monday to file the bill that will be considered in the new legislative session starting in January.

Lauer said the bill would allow Indiana to continue receiving the same federal reimbursements for SNAP and Medicaid benefits that it is receiving under the emergency order. It would also Hoosiers to avoid federal vaccine mandates affecting workplaces, by ensuring businesses allow exemptions for religious beliefs, legitimate medical reasons or by claims of natural immunity.

According to the bill summary, employers would be required to provide employees with an option to submit to free testing for the presence of COVID-19 not more than once a week in lieu of vaccination. Employers also could not require a vaccination if the employee has tested positive and recovered from COVID-19 within the past six months.

Lauer said “No employee should be placed in a position to choose between their job and not taking a vaccine because it would violate their religious beliefs or for legitimate medical reasons.”

Photo: State Rep. Ryan Lauer, R-Columbus, (second from left) joins State Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne) (center) as he files House Bill 1001 to help end the statewide public health emergency and protect Hoosier workers Monday, Photo courtesy of Indiana House Republicans.