Indiana lawmakers plan to meet again to end COVID-19 orders – Community News

Indiana lawmakers plan to meet again to end COVID-19 orders

Lawmakers plan to return to the Statehouse on Nov. 29 to take action that will overturn the public health emergency in Indiana.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s Republican-dominated legislature is set to meet again late this month to consider legislation that would end the statewide emergency public health ordinance in effect since March 2020.

Legislative leaders announced on Saturday that lawmakers would return to the Statehouse on Nov. 29 for a one-day session to take measures overturning the current public health emergency in Indiana.

Indiana’s statewide mask mandate and business or crowd restrictions were lifted months ago. But many conservatives have criticized the Republican administration’s Eric Holcomb for continuing to extend the monthly health order, which has been extended 20 times since it was introduced.

Earlier this week, Holcomb said he is ready to lift the public health emergency, but there are a few things that need to be done first.

“When I extended the latest public health emergency for another 30 days, I asked my team to bring me a plan that would allow us to responsibly wind it down. They presented me with a plan that identifies three key points that must be preserved if I am to responsibly manage the public health emergency,” Holcomb said in a statement released Tuesday.

Holcomb said he is working with Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) and Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) to make three legislative changes. Holcomb said those changes would protect Hoosiers by continuing increased federal matching funds for Medicaid spending, continuing increased benefits for those receiving federal food aid, and expanding the ability to efficiently vaccinate our 5- to 11-year-olds.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Bray told 13News that Bray continues to “work with Governor and Speaker Huston on a way to end the emergency, but no details are known at this time.”

13News has contacted the governor’s office for details on what to include in those three areas and is awaiting a response.