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Holcomb wants health emergency provisions split from vaccine mandate ban

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 or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.