Two Indiana lawmakers file resolution to end public health emergency

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INDIANAPOLIS – Two Indiana State Representatives want to end the governor-issued Public Health Emergency Order.

In the resolution, they said Hoosiers should be responsible and capable of protecting themselves and their families during this pandemic.

Though this won’t be formally debated until January, we reached out to the authors of this resolution, State Rep. Curt Nisly and State Rep. John Jacob.

Both declined to comment on the resolution itself and directed reporter Kayla Sullivan to the document instead.

Nisly and Jacob were the only two lawmakers to refuse to wear a mask on the House Floor on Tuesday for Organization Day.

When asked why, Jacob said, “I believe each person (including myself) needs to repent and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation from sin and its eternal punishment.”

Republican House Speaker Todd Huston said there needs to be a discussion about the emergency order.

“I think that there is a proper role for legislative input, I think there needs to be a fuller and broader discussion about those actions,” said Huston.

The resolution said Hoosiers have been informed on COVID-19 therefore a state of emergency is no longer needed.

“It doesn’t seem realistic to me at all,” said Minority Leader State Rep. Phil GiaQuinta. “Frankly, we will see where we are. I know we are getting very close to a vaccine, which is exciting, but we are in a pandemic. And again, the cases continue to skyrocket.”

That is one reason House Democrats proposed a rule requiring masks at the statehouse on Tuesday.

That was voted down — along party lines.

“That motion was not thought out and written in a way that would have caused a lot of problems for a lot of members,” explained Huston.

“State democrats put this forward to really protect the health and safety of not only the members but the staff the folks in the media, the public that comes into the building,” GiaQuinta.

Speaker Huston said the discussion may come back up in January.

“I have strongly encouraged as you can see by our caucus, a vast majority of our caucus did wear a mask,” said Huston.

We asked Governor Eric Holcomb and Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Box to react to these lawmakers not wearing a mask at the Indiana Statehouse on Org Day.

Both thanked the majority of lawmakers who did wear a mask. Dr. Box said there is not one person in Indiana who should not be wearing a mask.

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