Senate Health Committee passes vaccination bill

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Senate Health and Human Resources Committee approved Tuesday a measure prohibiting government offices from requiring people to show proof of a coronavirus vaccination before entering public buildings.

Senators passed the bill with the recommendation to the Senate that it approves the measure. The Senate Judiciary Committee will first consider the legislation before the full chamber’s review.

The legislation would prevent local and state government offices from requiring people to show they are vaccinated for the coronavirus in order to enter a hospital or buildings on university and college campuses. Buildings subject to federal laws would not be affected by the bill if it becomes law.

Senate Majority Whip Ryan Weld, R-Brooke, introduced an amendment to remove hospitals from the bill.

“The bill, as it’s written, applies to privately owned hospitals that are private businesses. Everything else that is in the bill is a public entity,” he said. “Having a private hospital in there is kind of a private outlier because it is not controlled by the state.”

Sen. Ron Stollings, D-Boone, wanted to amend the amendment to include private and public hospitals. After Stollings proposed the change, Committee Chairman Mike Maroney, R-Marshall, called a recess to meet privately with colleagues.

Following the break, Weld withdrew the amendment.

The House of Delegates approved the legislation on March 1.

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