Virus Outbreak Indiana Vaccine Mandates

Indiana House Majority Leader Matt Lehman, R-Berne, left, speaks during a state legislative hearing as Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, right, watches Tuesday at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis. Numerous Indiana medical and business groups argued against a proposal sponsored by Lehman aimed at ending the statewide COVID-19 public health emergency and forcing broad exemptions from workplace vaccination requirements.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s governor announced Wednesday he would extend the state’s public health emergency for another month amid a stalled legislative proposal that would force businesses to grant COVID-19 vaccination requirement exemptions without any questions and block similar immunization rules set by state universities.

Lawmakers were scheduled to meet in a special session next week to vote on the fast-track bill. But leaders called the plan off following a joint meeting between committees in the House and Senate on Tuesday that included nearly seven hours of heated public testimony after which lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on the bill.

Associated Press writer Tom Davies contributed to this report.

Casey Smith is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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