Indiana health officials oppose bill that impacts local orders during public health emergencies


INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Public Health Association (IPHA) says they oppose a bill they refer to as “a dangerous experiment for Hoosiers health.”

Senate bill 5 would allow local orders during a public health emergency to go into effect if they are less stringent than an executive order. If a local order is more stringent than the executive order, under SB 5, it would not be allowed to go into effect.

The bill also turns over full control of public health decisions to elected officials.

Those who oppose the bill say this could create problems beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when it comes to issues like clean drinking water or other public health issues. Those in support of the bill say the pandemic has proven this system does work, and it would improve accountability on the local level.

Senator Mark Messmer is one of the bill authors, and Senator Jim Tomes is one of the co-authors.

(This story was originally published on April 9, 2021)

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