Indiana lawmakers to reconvene, look to end COVID-19 orders

(Supplied/CDC)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP): Indiana’s Republican-dominated Legislature will reconvene late this month to consider ending the statewide COVID-19 public health emergency order that has been in place since March 2020, legislative leaders said Saturday.

Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, and House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers, said lawmakers will return to the Statehouse for a one-day session on Nov. 29 and take up legislation that would allow the emergency order to expire.

The announcement comes despite a recent rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Indiana and other Midwestern states after those statistics improved in Indiana since the state’s last surge peaked in mid-September.

Indiana’s statewide mask mandate and business or crowd restrictions were lifted months ago.

But many conservatives have criticized Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb for continuing to extend the monthly public health order, which he has renewed 20 times. Holcomb has signaled that the 30-day renewal he signed in late October might be the last.

The governor faces a Dec. 1 deadline for extending the health emergency order and an accompanying executive order, which, among a handful of provisions, has allowed the state health commissioner to issue a standing doctor’s order allowing pharmacists to administer COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11.

Holcomb said Tuesday that he was talking with legislative leaders about allowing the public health emergency to expire if lawmakers approved steps that would allow the state to keep receiving enhanced federal funding for Medicaid expenses and food assistance programs, and also maintain the childhood vaccination authorization.

Holcomb said such actions “would allow us to wind it down responsibly.”

Bray and Huston said in a joint statement that lawmakers would consider those concerns during their one-day session, which will come more than a month ahead of the Jan. 4 scheduled start of the Legislature’s new session.

“There are only a few key components of the executive order that remain in place, including measures that help vulnerable Hoosiers. Before the emergency expires, we’ll return for a one-day session to pass legislation addressing these issues,” Huston said in the statement.

Public testimony on the legislation will be heard on Tuesday in the House Chamber starting at 10:30 a.m.

2 COMMENTS

  1. OH!! So the Covid orders from the Tyrant governor were all about receiving enhanced federal funds and not health care????????? I’ve had enough of that for sure. It is called CORRUPTION. Hoosiers had better root that out before it destroys us. It can be found in local government. the local and state health departments, the local and state school boards and their associations, and in state government. Elections matter. When we elect retired teachers to these positions everyone loses because they do not represent parents they represent the teacher’s unions. WAKE UP!! When it is all about the money The People lose.

  2. “the state to keep receiving enhanced federal funding” Is the root cause of all terrible things happening in this Country Today. The Feds are too big and control too much.

    It seems like every aspect of society receives Federal funding and that needs to change. Schools, Hospitals, Public Health Departments, Banks, Infrastructure (real infrastructure, not the Fake People Infrastructure crap Democrats are trying to push), and the list goes on…. And the Feds can put conditions or Mandates on all those Federal dollars…and now we are facing an obvious tyrannical incompetent government.

    The power needs to remain with each State as intended in the Constitution, Not the Federal Government, which means the money should flow from the State, to the Feds. There is no Rational reason the Federal Government needs to have its hand in everything…. Everything above can and should be handled at the State level. Easier to hold State elected officials accountable.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here