Balancing the Powers of Indiana Government

Balancing the Powers of Indiana Government

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Indiana Senate Republicans are working this session to pass legislation that addresses key lessons we've learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Bill 5 would allow any person who is subject to a local health department’s enforcement action to appeal the matter to the local elected legislative body. This appeals process would apply only to enforcement actions taken in response to a public emergency.

Senate Bill 202 would require nursing homes in Indiana to allow residents’ relatives, clergy and designated “essential family caregivers” to visit them when they are most in need, even if it is during a public health emergency declared by the executive branch. This policy would apply to nursing-home residents facing an end of-life situation, the loss of a loved one, and other similar hardships.

To protect religious freedom during public emergencies, Senate Bill 263 would ban state and local government from imposing restrictions on religious organizations and religious services that are more restrictive than those imposed on other businesses and organizations deemed “essential services” during a public emergency.

Finally, Senate Bill 353 would prohibit the governor and Indiana Election Commission from unilaterally changing the time, place or manner of elections. Under SB 353, these changes could only be made through the normal legislative process.

For more information on these bills and others moving through the General Assembly, click here.