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GOP leaders not sold on total ban of private businesses' COVID-19 vaccine mandates

Alan Mbathi/IPB News

Republican legislative leaders don’t sound ready to ban Indiana companies from imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

But the issue isn’t going to be left alone in the 2022 session, either.

Even before the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine rules, many Hoosier companies required their workers to get vaccinated. And that prompted pushback from some in the legislature.

READ MORE: Indiana business groups disagree with federal vaccine mandate

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Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) said lawmakers shouldn’t do anything to stop companies from requiring vaccines.

“Employers have a responsibility not just to their employees but to the entire community, in my mind,” Taylor said.

House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said he personally prefers to let private businesses decide.

“I’d also say employers need to be cautious in how they honor religious exemptions, medical exemptions,” Huston said.

Huston said lawmakers will explore expanding the reasons employees can be exempted from vaccine mandates. Such a bill died last session without a vote.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.