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Holcomb wants health emergency provisions split from vaccine mandate ban

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Government, Health, Politics
There are only three legislative changes Gov. Eric Holcomb said he needs lawmakers to make to ensure Indiana won’t lose hundreds of millions in federal funding tied to the pandemic by ending the state's public health emergency. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Indiana House Republicans have tied a controversial push to effectively ban private companies from enforcing COVID-19 vaccine mandates to language that would help end the state’s public health emergency.

There will be an effort in the upcoming session to split those provisions apart.

Gov. Eric Holcomb requested three administrative changes in state law that would allow him to end the state’s public health emergency without costing the state hundreds of millions in federal funding tied to the pandemic.

Those provisions are widely supported.

But House Republicans then included into the proposed bill their language about COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Holcomb wants those two things separated into different measures.

“So, why not deal with what we agree on, get that out of the way, and then have our discussion,” Holcomb said.

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Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said there’s wisdom in that.

“The vaccine mandate language is quite a bit more complicated and probably some varying opinions across what that landing spot is,” Bray said.

The legislative session is scheduled to begin Jan. 4.

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