INDIANAPOLIS—On Tuesday, November 23, the Joint Committee on Legislative Rules and Procedures met at the last minute to hear testimony on drafted language that would allow Hoosiers to continue receiving federal benefits. Unfortunately, this bill also would have put onerous regulations on businesses, risked our schools and universities being able to stay open and further threatened Hoosiers’ health and safety. This language was set to be voted on by the full body on Monday, November 29. After hearing concerns about the proposed language, Senate Democrats argued that the Legislature should focus on helping Hoosiers and leave the rest for deliberation once we reconvene in January.
Today, the supermajority announced that they would be canceling session on November 29 to allow for more deliberation from Hoosiers. Senate Democratic Leader, Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) had the following remarks:
“I am glad that the Republican caucuses listened to our call, and the calls of the business and healthcare communities, to give the important issue of COVID-19 vaccines the full vetting it deserves. This issue should be discussed and considered before our full Legislature, undergoing the proper legislative process, instead of unnecessarily being pushed through—which would hurt our businesses, workers, healthcare community and schools.
“We are legislators, not doctors, and we should not be legislating medicine. Extending the emergency declaration through December is the right decision, and I hope to have a more reasonable conversation about responsibly ending the declaration when session begins in January.
“This delay will allow us the necessary time to hear from the full medical community about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine and how it is saving lives. In the meantime, I encourage all Hoosiers to talk to their doctors about the COVID-19 vaccination and the benefits of immunization so we can come out of this pandemic as soon as possible.”