TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)—In a press conference on Friday members of the Indiana Public Health Association discussed the significant dangers of Senate Enrolled Act 5.
"We are here today to urge our legislatures to not override the Governor's veto and to urge all Hoosiers who value public health to contact their state legislatures about this important issue," said Tippecanoe County Health Officer, Dr. Jeremy Adler.
Governor Holcomb vetoed the bill on Tuesday stating "the time wasn't right to jeopardize the flexibility of local health officials as the state recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic."
"Examples of measures that would be affected by this bill include things like county wide mask mandates and other local measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19," said Adler.
However Republican supporters said the step was meant to provide a "check and balance" protecting the rights of business owners following complaints about COVID-19 orders closing or limiting businesses.
The association is asking to collaborate with legislators on a more comprehensive approach to improve public health.
"We can do this," said Ripley County Health Officer David Welsh. "We have a lot of good folks who are public health minded in the state. We can take all the concerns that people have raised. We can come out with a really good process."
Indiana legislators can override Holcomb's veto by a simple majority vote in both chambers but members with the Indiana Public Health Association hopes there can be compromise.
"The other issue is the creation of a whole new infrastructure at the county level to hear the appeals, to process complaints, to consider all of the evidence to be able to do this job effectively," said Paul Halverson who is the Founding Dean & Professor for Indiana University Richard M Fairbanks School of Public Health.
You can view the full presser here.