Indiana lawmakers debating public health, personal freedom


Members of the Indiana House convene in the House chamber in the Indiana Government Center in Indianapolis, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. The House is meeting in a conference room in the state office building to increase social distancing due to COVID-19. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Nearly a dozen bills drafted by GOP legislators in Indiana have sparked debate in the Statehouse over where to draw the line between public health and personal freedom.

In the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has so far killed more than 9,000 in Indiana, lawmakers face contention over emergency health orders, school and business closures, vaccine requirements and other protocols spurred by COVID-19. In question is whether such precautions are necessary to stem the spread of the virus or infringements on Hoosiers’ rights.

Among the measures up for consideration are those that would prohibit Indiana employers from requiring workers to get shots against COVID-19 and provide civil immunity to businesses whose workers or consumers get sick or die from the virus.

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