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West Virginia Senate passes vaccine exemption bill by just 1 vote; returns to House for agreement on an amendment

By David Beard, The Dominion Post

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Senate spent just over two hours debating the governor’s COVID-19 vaccine exemption bill, HB 335, and barely passed it with a 17-16 vote.

HB 335 says an employer that requires vaccination for hiring or continued employment must grant certain exemptions, based on receiving from the current or prospective employee either a certification from a physician or nurse practitioner that a vaccine is not safe for that person, the person has a specific precaution or the person has natural antibody immunity from COVID-19 exposure or recovery; or a notarized certificate of religious objection.

The bill prohibits penalizing or discriminating against current or prospective employees who seek exemption and provides for injunctive relief in court.

Members rejected a proposed amendment from Sen. Ron Stollings, D-Boone, that would have replaced the bill with a paragraph saying all state residents are entitled to religious and medical exemptions granted under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

They adopted one offered by Finance Chair Eric Tarr, R-Putnam, to address concerns the bill will conflict with federal law and put hospitals and businesses in a bind…

To read more: https://www.dominionpost.com/2021/10/19/senate-passes-vaccine-exemption-bill-by-just-1-vote-returns-to-house-for-agreement-on-an-amendment/

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