Frontline Public Servants & SB47
Religious freedom for Frontline Public Servants
Let’s dig in! Last week our team noticed SB232 which would provide death and disability benefits for our front line public servants if they were to develop COVID-19 in the line of duty. This is a much-needed bill, we certainly feel our Fire, Law Enforcement, and EMS deserve this coverage! We did notice that if an individual declines a vaccination for COVID then they will still be denied their benefits. The clause allowed for medical exemption however did not account for a religious exemption. Nor did it provide clarity on if it was appropriate for a vaccination under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to be included. We could not sit by without advocating for our Front line Heroes!
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As it turns out there is a similar bill over in the Senate Pensions and Labor committee at present. HB1515 has similar language as HB232. We want these bills to pass however the Legislature needs to address the important issue of religious freedom and the new and pressing problem of EUA. We will keep an eye on HB1515 to see if we need to take action. At this point we will focus on the SB232 because it has almost passed. If we see movement on HB1515 we will address it as appropriate and let you know when action is needed. 😊
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SB47 is dead, but….
About 2 weeks ago we were sending out calls to action on SB47 that would allow pharmacists and pharmacy techs to provide Corona virus vaccinations and the authors allowed the bill to die without being heard. The Indiana House of Representatives chose to kill the bill rather than being forced to go on record and vote for or against the amendments we encouraged on informed consent and strengthened privacy surrounding release of personal health information. (If you missed the petition please be sure to sign it and share!) Allowing a bill to die really speaks volumes, and I am going to break it down so you understand just how important SB47 is.
Right now pharmacists and pharmacy techs are able to administer the vaccinations and we speculate that may be tied to emergency orders. If that is accurate and the emergency is ended these orders will no longer be valid removing these abilities from standard pharmacy staff. As we have seen Indiana’s vaccination plan is centered around pharmacies. SB47 is a big deal because if pharmacists and or pharmacy techs are not able to administer the vaccinations that means that they will have to hire licensed staff able to administer vaccinations throughout the state when nurses and physicians are already in high demand.
They killed a very important bill because they didn’t want to vote on lawful, honest, clear cut amendments. I suspect that this bill will not be allowed to go by the wayside because of all the reasons above. I would bet that we could see SB47 pop back up in “conference committee.” I think it is important to talk about what exactly conference committee is, here goes nothing. At the end of session bills that have gone through one side of the legislature and were amended on the other side are sent to conference committee to decide what language to use. I have also been made aware that bills that passed one side of the house and then died in the other can also come back via conference committee. Either way the process for conference committee is as follows. The Speaker of the House (Todd Houston in the house) and the President Pro Tempore (Rod Bray in the senate) each assign 2 members from their side. Typically the two members are one from each party, but don’t have to be. These 4 individuals then decide if the bill will die for good or be sent on for the Governor’s signature.
All that to say that SB47 can still come back and we likely won’t have any opportunity to push for good amendments. We will let you know as things develop and if there is anything you can do.
Do you ever feel like the legislative process is confusing and difficult? Well, you aren’t alone. I feel like at every turn there is something unexpected and surprising. I imagine you could equate it to having 50-100 cooks in the kitchen. There are so many moving parts and different directions that legislation moves in it feels almost impossible to keep up. Ultimately, that is just the way it is and we must adapt. I will tell you one of the best things I have witnessed in this journey is the power of teamwork and collaboration. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have a fantastic core group to work alongside. We are always looking to grow our team and invite you to volunteer!
H4ML Near Me
We have mentioned in a few bursts that there are meetings coming up in local areas. Please check here to see if you can attend a meeting near you. If you would like to host a meeting we would love to chat with you.
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Ashley Grogg RN-MSN sharing insights, tips, and updates on Medical Liberty throughout the Hoosier state.