An Indiana lawmaker wants to ban state and local governments from ever again imposing many of the COVID-19 restrictions in place over the last year.
Rep. Bob Morris’s (R-Fort Wayne) legislation would ban state and local governments from limiting a business’s hours of operation or occupancy; regulating what procedures hospitals can do; and requiring mask-wearing or social distancing in a church, unless those things are already in state or federal law.
All of those are executive orders Gov. Eric Holcomb has issued during the pandemic.
Joseph Ceruti runs a catering company in Fort Wayne that he said has been decimated by Holcomb’s restrictions.
“So many inconsistencies with these rules – they’re arbitrary; they don’t accomplish the goal,” Ceruti said.
As an example, Ceruti said it doesn’t make sense that a restaurant in his county can be at full capacity while he’s only allowed to hold events of 25 people or less in his much larger banquet halls.
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The bill also says local health officials can’t close private schools and churches in order to “prevent and stop epidemics.”
A House committee heard the measure Monday but did not vote on it.
During the hearing, Morris questioned whether mask-wearing was effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. In reality, experts agree that wearing a mask can help prevent the virus’s spread and may even help reduce the severity of the illness when infected.