The Journal Gazette
 
 
Wednesday, July 14, 2021 1:00 am

Vaccine passport resolution fails again

City Council splits 4-4; 5th vote needed to pass

DEVAN FILCHAK | The Journal Gazette

A nonbinding vaccine passport resolution failed again during its second chance for passage Tuesday.

The resolution was initially introduced by Councilman Jason Arp, R-4th, at the June 8 council meeting. The resolution stated the council is against any mandates that would require people to show proof of having a COVID-19 vaccination to go to public places. 

Arp asked if the resolution could be tabled when it was up for a vote at the June 22 meeting because of the absence of fellow Republicans Tom Didier, R-3rd, and Russ Jehl, R-2nd. 

Council members Michelle Chambers, D-at large; Glynn Hines, D-at large; Sharon Tucker, D-6th; and Geoff Paddock, D-5th, voted against the resolution during a 4-3 vote in committee June 22. They argued that Indiana House Bill 1405, which deals with insurance matters but also includes language stopping local and state governments from mandating vaccine passports, already covers the issue. 

However, Arp changed his vote to no during the regular meeting so he could ask the council to reconsider it during Tuesday's meeting when all members would be present. 

Jehl released a statement before Tuesday's meeting that he would abstain from voting. 

“I oppose vaccine passports,” he said in a statement. “I also oppose the politicization of the pandemic, which is why I will not add my vote.”

Didier voted in favor of the resolution, bringing the final vote to 4-4, split along party lines, with Jehl's abstention. The resolution needed five votes to pass.  

dfilchak@jg.net

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