Indiana deal gives local officials say over health orders

Indiana

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks after receiving his Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine during the state’s first mass vaccination clinic at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Friday, March 5, 2021, in Indianapolis. The state health department said nearly 17,000 people had filled up four days of appointments for the speedway clinic being held Friday through Monday. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana legislative negotiators have reached an agreement on limiting the authority of county or city health departments by allowing local elected officials to overturn orders or enforcement actions issued during emergencies.

Republican supporters say the proposal is meant to provide a “check and balance” protecting the rights of business owners following complaints about COVID-19 orders closing or limiting businesses that have been imposed over the past year. The agreement released Tuesday requires any local public health order that is more stringent than one issued by the governor must be approved by an elected county or city board.

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