Local lawmakers react to facemasks not be required at the statehouse

Lawmakers will not be required to wear masks at the ceremonial start of the session next week and possibly for all of the upcoming session which starts in January.

Posted: Nov 13, 2020 10:40 PM

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WLFI)- Lawmakers will not be required to wear masks at the ceremonial start of the session next week and possibly for all of the upcoming session which starts in January. This comes as COVID-19 continues to ravage through the state of Indiana.

"Let me be perfectly clear, I am a republican senator that absolutely believes in the wearing of masks and also social distancing," said state Senator Ron Alting who represents the 22nd district of Indiana.

However, many of senator Alting's Republican colleagues do not feel the same. The Republican-dominated joint House-Senate committee voted Thursday against a proposal from a Democratic lawmaker for rules enforcing a facemask policy.

"I did suspect that there would be some push back. I've seen a lot of legislators that have been very combative when it comes to the mandates that the governor has put forth," said State Representative Chris Campbell who represents district 26.

While masks will not be required, lawmakers say there will be other COVID-19 safety protocols in place.

"The gallery which is up above the chambers is usually where citizens sit in, we will be moving senators up in the gallery to make sure that we have social distancing on the floor,” added Senator Alting. “There will be nobody sitting next to each other."

"When the session starts we do plan to meet in the government center next door which has a larger room area we will all have our own individual 5-foot tables," said Representative Campbell.

Even with those safety protocols in place both these local lawmakers agree, they would feel more comfortable if masks were required.

"It's really irresponsible of for them to put forth this kind of recommendation especially since we should be better role models for the state, said Representative Campbell.

"It certainly would not have been my vote for a choice,” said Senator Alting. “Obviously a lot of Americans and a lot of Hoosiers still believe that they should have a choice in doing so."

Both the House and Senate plan to meet Tuesday inside the Statehouse chambers. Many members will sit in the public balconies to provide greater distancing. Legislators will be sworn into office and they will formally elect leaders.

Lafayette
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 41°
Kokomo
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 27°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 36°
Lafayette
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 41°
Danville
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 33°
Frankfort
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 32°
Frankfort
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 32°
Monticello
Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 32°
Monticello
Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 32°
Logansport
Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 34°
Warmest weather since December is ahead with good timing with the weekend rainfall...
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

WLFI is promoting fire safety with FREE smoke detectors

 WLFI and several local fire departments are helping with your fire safety this winter. CLICK HERE. 

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 659127

Reported Deaths: 12494
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion903271628
Lake48239872
Allen35663632
Hamilton31929395
St. Joseph29721510
Elkhart25306412
Vanderburgh21173377
Tippecanoe19873199
Johnson16290355
Porter15896268
Hendricks15765300
Clark11885179
Madison11704315
Vigo11538229
Monroe10285159
Delaware9815178
LaPorte9732195
Howard9030195
Kosciusko8529108
Bartholomew7412147
Hancock7392128
Warrick7389147
Floyd7172165
Wayne6616189
Grant6411157
Morgan6054124
Boone605388
Dubois5885111
Dearborn542366
Henry540792
Marshall5406104
Cass539699
Noble508176
Jackson463664
Shelby459390
Lawrence4165111
Gibson401081
Harrison397061
Clinton393753
Montgomery384283
DeKalb384078
Knox355784
Miami355663
Whitley347835
Huntington341276
Steuben337155
Wabash329776
Putnam327359
Ripley325661
Adams321549
Jasper314243
White296151
Jefferson293370
Daviess284696
Fayette270856
Decatur269788
Greene260679
Posey260131
Wells256574
Scott249649
LaGrange240570
Clay239744
Randolph225276
Spencer216630
Jennings214144
Washington209327
Sullivan202639
Fountain200942
Starke186950
Owen181853
Fulton177737
Jay177328
Carroll176118
Perry173035
Orange170750
Rush164322
Vermillion159541
Franklin158835
Tipton145841
Parke138415
Pike127432
Blackford120327
Pulaski106444
Newton96431
Brown94839
Benton91613
Crawford90413
Martin80014
Switzerland7527
Warren75212
Union66910
Ohio52911
Unassigned0429

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events