Lauer co-authors legislation to end pandemic state public health emergency

COLUMBUS, Ind. — State Rep. Ryan Lauer, R-Columbus,  said he is co-authoring legislation to help end the statewide public health emergency and protect Hoosier workers.

House Bill 1001 would allow Gov. Eric Holcomb’s state public health emergency to expire by ensuring Indiana could continue receiving the same federal reimbursements for SNAP and Medicaid, protecting Hoosiers from losing existing benefits, and maintain the state’s ability to hold voluntary community vaccination clinics. Lauer has been working closely with legislative leadership in conjunction with Holcomb to retire the state of emergency and protect Hoosier jobs from recent federal mandates, he said in an announcement sent to media this morning.

 “I believe Hoosiers have a constitutional right of individual freedom which must be respected,” Lauer said. “No employee should be placed in a position to choose between their job and not taking a vaccine because it would violate their religious beliefs or for legitimate medical reasons.”

Lauer said the legislation filed Monday at the Statehouse would also require businesses to accept medical and religious exemptions and recognize natural immunity, if they require the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment due to recent federal mandates.

“This legislation would help alleviate many Hoosiers’ concerns surrounding vaccine mandates by strengthening exemptions under Indiana law,” Lauer said. “As we move closer to the start of session, I’ll also continue listening to constituents’ input on this issue and others. I also remain committed to working on responsibly ending the statewide public emergency and protecting our God-given rights under the Constitution.”

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.